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BeOpen.com: BeOpen Interview with Guido van Rossum [Python creator]

Jun 03, 2000, 15:12 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

[ Thanks to BeOpen for this link. ]

"As open source projects go, Python, the "very high level language" developed by Guido Van Rossum 10 years ago, is a prime example of the "scratch your own itch" design philosophy. Van Rossum, a 44 year old developer who spent much of his collegiate and post- collegiate years working with instructional software languages such as ABC and Pascal, freely admits that it was his annoyance with these languages' real-word performance that drove him to create Python."

"BeOpen: From an open source perspective, how is creating a language different from developing something like Linux?

Guido: Actually, languages have had something like an open source development for a very long time. Starting, I think, in the Sixties, there have been standardization committees involving all sorts of languages. Languages that were not developed in an open fashion would only succeed if they were aimed at a very narrow application domain."

"BeOpen: That evolution away from the machine seems like a necessary step, because you want to move in a direction where it doesn't matter what the hardware is. You want your code to be completely portable. Is that a fair assumption?

Guido: Actually, at the moment, portability is much more constrained by the software environment than by the hardware environment. For example, Windows and Linux run on exactly the same hardware and yet it's easy to write programs even in Python that run only on one of those but not on the other. ..."

Complete Story

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