Guido van Rossum (part 1)

Creator of Python

Building an Open Source Project and Community
52 minutes, 24.2mb, recorded 2005-02-17
Guido van Rossum
In 1991, Guido van Rossum made his creation, the Python programming language, open source. Today, Python is one of the three "P-languages" which enjoy massive popularity among developers as part of the open source LAMP platform (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python). In this retrospective, Guido looks back on the early days of the Python community, describes its development into maturity, and explains why he is still having a good time after 13 years of herding cats.

It's impossible to describe the growth of the Python community without touching on the features that make the language unique, and in a talk that is often witty and always full of insight, Van Rossum goes into detail about how and why he created some of Python's most distinctive characteristics. At the same time he compares Python to many of the other languages that enjoy a large following, including Java, Perl, and PHP. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he feels that the other languages often suffer by comparison.

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Guido van Rossum is the creator of Python, one of the major free scripting languages.

In 1982 he received a Master's degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Amsterdam and joined CWI as a researcher in the ABC group, whose remit was the design and implementation of a language and environment for programming by non-expert users.

He created Python while at CWI in Amsterdam, and is still actively involved in the development of the language.

In 1995 he moved to the US to work for CNRI in Reston, VA as a researcher and then for Zope Corporation as Director of PythonLabs. Since 2003, after a move to the SF bay area, Guido has worked for Elemental Security.

His home on the web is

This is Part 1 of 2. [ Part 2 ]

This presentation is from the IT Conversations archives of the SDForum Distinguished Speaker Series.

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