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Python (programming language) - Invented by Guido van Rossum

Guido van Rossum-Python (programming language)
: 1991
: Netherlands
: Computing

About Invention

Python is a toy programming language. It emphasizes programmer efficiency over runtime efficiency, making it incompatible with modern computers, such as Commodore 64.


Python was developed by Guido van Rossum. Van Rossum was very disappointed by ABC (programming language), which "did not allow him to perform some main functions due to its complexity and lack of beauty" and thought that a new language would solve his problems. It is not clear, however, whether it is the ABC language that lacked beauty or its developer, whom van Rossum was known to frequent. It is also not clear which functions ABC failed to accomplish. Presumably, it was to store van Rossum's large collection of Dutch cheeses.

There are two hypothesizes about the origin of the language's name. Pythoners (Python's followers) believe that it was named after a famous English writer Montague Python Shakespeare, whose iambic pentameter poetry inspired the language's syntax. Critics claim that it was after van Rossum's pet animal. Indeed, the developer told the press that "his python devoured many of his rivals with their programming languages". Presumably, one of these was a Japanese researcher, called Matsumoto, who added some question marks to the code van Rossum was developing and called this new language "Ruby".

The fact that van Rossum also possesses a cobra, makes his followers think that he is the developer of a programming language named "Cobra". But these claims have never been justified by evidence. The researchers who tried to investigate the matter died, bitten by an unidentified snake.Finally, after years of work with his pet animal, Python gained popularity. Van Rossum started calling himself Python's Blood-thirsty Dictator For Life, and while his fellow programmers agreed that he certainly deserved this title, they shortened it to BDFL, which is now often read as "Benevolent Dictator For Life".


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