By the way, why is Python called Python?

The names of programming languages ​​sometimes have a history. This is the case of Python, invented in the 90s by Guido van Rossum.

For zoologists as for ordinary mortals, a python is a snake. Gun lovers mostly see it as a revolver. But, for computer scientists, it is a programming language. A language not so young: its creation dates back to the early 90s and it is Guido van Rossum, a 66-year-old Dutchman, who is the inventor.

If we trust theTIOBE-index (The Importance Of Being Earnest, The importance of being consistent, a play by Oscar Wilde), the Python language has become the most popular. It outperforms reputable competitors like Java, C, Visual Basic, JavaScript, PHP, or SQL. TIOBE relies on various factors to establish this top. But, the index wants to say that it is not that of the best language.

A few lines of Python code. // Source : Chris Ried

Python’s success lies in its ease of learning — at least that’s what the documentation highlights. ” Because its syntax is elegant, its typing is dynamic, and it is interpreted, Python is an ideal language for scripting and rapid application development in many areas and on most platforms. », is it written.

We find this language everywhere, from artificial intelligence to encryption, through image processing, massive data analysis (big data), the web, algorithms, machine learning, etc. This versatility explains the success of Python, such as its simplicity, its performance, its availability on all systems and its relative lightness.

A developer influenced by Monty Python

And, by the way, there is a little story behind the name Python. This one was not at all taken at random. It turns out that Guido van Rossum was guided by his passion for Monty Python, this famous troupe of English comedians to whom we owe a television series (Monty Python’s Flying Circus) and three movies (Holy Grail!, Brian’s Life, The meaning of life).

All of these works were released between the late 1960s and the mid-1980s. When the TV series was broadcast on the BBC, Guido van Rossum was still very young – he was just entering his teens. It was in fact at the turn of the 90s, then in his already well into his thirties, when he was working on Python, that he had the idea of ​​referring to these comics.

Monty Python
The visual of the Monty Python series. // Source: Monty Python

This story is confirmed on the official Python website : “ When he first started implementing Python, Guido van Rossum was also reading published scripts for Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a BBC comedy series from the 1970s. Van Rossum thought he needed a short, unique and slightly mysterious. So he decided to call the language Python. »

For the little story, Guido van Rossum also developed a web browser in the 90s, written in Python of course. Her name ? Grail, like the movie holy grail (Holy Grail, in original version). We still find it in a GitHub repository. As to whether to like Monty Python for coding or in general, the official FAQ simply answers: “ No, but it helps 😉 “.

(correction of the nationality of the IT specialist)

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By the way, why is Python called Python?

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