Python Language FAQ - Section 2 
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 Python Language FAQ - Section 2

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The whole Python FAQ - Section 2

Last changed on Mon Jun 28 19:36:09 1999 EDT

(Entries marked with ** were changed within the last 24 hours; entries
marked with * were changed within the last 7 days.)

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2. Python in the real world

2.1.  How many people are using Python?
2.2.  Have any significant projects been done in Python?
2.3.  Are there any commercial projects going on using Python?
2.4.  How stable is Python?
2.5.  What new developments are expected for Python in the future?
2.6.  Is it reasonable to propose incompatible changes to Python?
2.7.  What is the future of Python?
2.8.  What is the PSA, anyway?
2.9.  How do I join the PSA?
2.10. What are the benefits of joining the PSA?
2.11. Is Python Y2K (Year 2000) Compliant?

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2. Python in the real world

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2.1. How many people are using Python?

I don't know, but the maximum number of simultaneous subscriptions to the
Python mailing list before it was gatewayed into the newsgroup was about 180
(several of which were local redistribution lists). I believe that many
active Python users don't bother to subscribe to the list, and now that
there's a newsgroup the mailing list subscription is even less meaningful. I
see new names on the newsgroup all the time and my best guess is that there
are currently at least several thousands of users.

Another statistic is the number of accesses to the Python WWW server. Have a
look at http://www.*-*-*.com/

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2.2. Have any significant projects been done in Python?

At CWI (the former home of Python), we have written a 20,000 line authoring
environment for transportable hypermedia presentations, a 5,000 line
multimedia teleconferencing tool, as well as many many smaller programs.

At CNRI (Python's new home), we have written two large applications: Grail,
a fully featured web browser (see http://www.*-*-*.com/ ), and the
Knowbot Operating Environment, a distributed environment for mobile code.

The University of {*filter*}ia uses Python to control a virtual reality engine.
See http://www.*-*-*.com/ .

The ILU project at Xerox PARC can generate Python glue for ILU interfaces.
See ftp://ftp.parc.xerox.com/pub/ilu/ilu.html. ILU is a free CORBA compliant
ORB which supplies distributed object connectivity to a host of platforms
using a host of languages.

Mark Hammond and Greg Stein and others are interfacing Python to Microsoft's
COM and ActiveX architectures. This means, among other things, that Python
may be used in active server pages or as a COM controller (for example to
automatically extract from or insert information into Excel or MSAccess or
any other COM aware application). Mark claims Python can even be a ActiveX
scripting host (which means you could embed JScript inside a Python
application, if you had a strange sense of humor). Python/AX/COM is
distributed as part of the PythonWin distribution.

The University of California, Irvine uses a student administration system
called TELE-Vision written entirely in Python. Contact: Ray Price

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Australia (a 100,000+ person venue)
has it's scoreboard system written largely in Python on MS Windows. Python
expressions are used to create almost every scoring entry that appears on
the board. The move to Python/C++ away from exclusive C++ has provided a
level of functionality that would simply not have been viable otherwise.

See also the next question.

If you have done a significant project in Python that you'd like to be
included in the list above, send me email!

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2.3. Are there any commercial projects going on using Python?

Yes, there's lots of commercial activity using Python. See
http://www.*-*-*.com/

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2.4. How stable is Python?

Very stable. While the current version number would suggest it is in the
early stages of development, in fact new, stable releases (numbered 0.9.x
through 1.4) have been coming out roughly every 3 to 6 or 12 months for the
past four years.

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2.5. What new developments are expected for Python in the future?

Follow the newsgroup discussions! The workshop proceedings
( http://www.*-*-*.com/ ) may also contain interesting looks into
the future.

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2.6. Is it reasonable to propose incompatible changes to Python?

In general, no. There are already millions of lines of Python code around
the world, so any changes in the language that invalidates more than a very
small fraction of existing programs has to be frowned upon. Even if you can
provide a conversion program, there still is the problem of updating all
documentation. Providing a gradual upgrade path is the only way if a feature
has to be changed.

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2.7. What is the future of Python?

If I knew, I'd be rich :-)

Seriously, the formation of the PSA (Python Software Activity, see
http://www.*-*-*.com/ ) ensures some kind of support even in the
(unlikely!) event that I'd be hit by a bus (actually, here in the U.S., a
car accident would be more likely :-), were to join a nunnery, or would be
head-hunted. A large number of Python users have become experts at Python
programming as well as maintenance of the implementation, and would easily
fill the vacuum created by my disappearance.

In the meantime, I have no plans to disappear -- rather, I am committed to
improving Python, and my current benefactor, CNRI (see
http://www.*-*-*.com/ ) is just as committed to continue its support
of Python and the PSA. In fact, we have great plans for Python -- we just
can't tell yet!

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2.8. What is the PSA, anyway?

The Python Software Activity http://www.*-*-*.com/
number of Python aficionados who want Python to be more than the product and
responsibility of a single individual. It has found a home at CNRI
http://www.*-*-*.com/ . Anybody who wishes Python well should join the
PSA.

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2.9. How do I join the PSA?

The full scoop is available on the web, see
http://www.*-*-*.com/ : send a check of at least
$50 to CNRI/PSA, 1895 Preston White Drive, Suite 100, in Reston, VA 20191.
Full-time students pay $25. Prices drop by half the second half of the
fiscal year (April - September). Companies can join for a mere $500. Pets
may join for only $15!

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2.10. What are the benefits of joining the PSA?

Like National Public Radio, without your support, Python will wither.

If you join, your name will be mentioned on the PSA's web server. Workshops
organized by the PSA http://www.*-*-*.com/
PSA members (you can join at the door). The PSA is working on additional
benefits, such as reduced prices for books and software, and early access to
alpha versions of Python. (The latter has been realized -- the 1.5 alpha
testing program is accessible only to PSA members.)

You might also consider to become a member of the starship project. It is a
free group of Python enthusiasts, and you get a free account. They just
happen to admit only PSA members. Check out http://www.*-*-*.com/ for
further information.

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2.11. Is Python Y2K (Year 2000) Compliant?

Since Python is available free of charge, I don't want to make any absolute
guarantees. If there is a problem that I didn't foresee, I don't want to be
sued for damages.

That said, I'm pretty convinced that there are no Y2K problems anywhere in
the core distribution, either 1.5 or 1.4. Python does few date
manipulations, and what it does is all based on the Unix representation for
time (even on non-Unix systems) which uses seconds since 1970 and won't
overflow until 2038.

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Sun, 23 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 1 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. Python Language FAQ - Section 5

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