Python slithers forward

By Jeff Walsh
InfoWorld Electric

Posted at 4:26 PM PT, Dec 11, 1998 (original article appeared at: http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayStory.pl?981211.whpython.htm)

Like its namesake's tendency to squeeze its prey, the success of the Python scripting language is applying pressure to vendors through open-source projects, adding Extensible Markup Language (XML) support and serving as the scripting language for a new Web application platform.

The Corporation for National Research Initiatives, in Reston, Va., is in charge of Python's development, while the Web application platform -- called the Z Object Publishing Environment, or Zope is an open-source project overseen by Digital Creations, in Fredericksburg, Va. Digital Creations previously developed Principia, a Web application platform, and Bobo, a toolkit for publishing objects. These products have been rolled into Zope.

Object-based Zope is mostly written in Python with a small percentage programmed in C for performance optimization, although developers can run Zope without that optimization. Zope currently runs on Windows 95, Windows NT, and six flavors of Unix. And because Python now runs on Java, Zope could quickly become a Java application.

An XML strategy for Zope is being solidified, because it is intended to support WebDAV and other XML-based standards. Zope can also serve as a repository for HTML pages, so users would not need to know how to write any code.

Python is also being enhanced to support XML, with beta implementations for the Simple API for XML and the Document Object Model. XML support in Python should be finalized by mid-1999.

For more information on Python, go to www.python.org. Zope information can be found at www.zope.org.

Jeff Walsh is an InfoWorld reporter.