History of Python Programming Language

Guido van Rossum
  • Designed By: Guido van Rossum
  • Month & Year: Dec, 1989
  • Location: Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Developed By: Python Software Foundation
  • Publicly Available / Release Date: Feb 20, 1991

Why The Name Python?

By Python, most people think about python snake and even the logo depicts two snakes, but the origin of the name has its root in British humor. It is named after the comedy show ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus‘ which was aired on BBC between 1969-74.

Python Logo

Guido van Rossum wanted a short, unique and slightly mysterious name for his invention and is a big fan of that TV show. Hence, he named the programming language as Python!

How did the project Python start?

Guido van Rossum was looking for an interesting project to keep him occupied during Christmas, in the year 1989. He then started Python as a hobby project.

In December 1989, I was looking for a ‘hobby’ programming project that would keep me occupied during the week around Christmas. My office…would be closed, but I had a home computer, and not much else on my hands. I decided to write an interpreter for the new scripting language I had been thinking about lately: a descendant of ABC that would appeal to Unix/C hackers. I chose Python as a working title for the project, being in a slightly irreverent mood (and a big fan of Monty Python’s Flying Circus).

Guido van Rossum during an interview with Bill Venners

Python is an interpreted, general purpose, high level programming language. (general purpose implies designed to be used for writing wide varieties of applications across various domains; high level programming languages are human readable and understandable programming languages unlike machine or assembly level i.e. low level languages)

Python programming language is being updated regularly with new features and supports. Check the Python version list and their respective released dates here: Python Version List