1.1. "And Now for Something Completely Different"
This book is about using Python, an easy-to-use, flexible, object-oriented, mature, popular, and open source[*] programming language designed to optimize development speed. Although it is completely general purpose, Python is often called a scripting language, partly because of its sheer ease of use and partly because it is commonly used to orchestrate or "glue" other software components in an application. Python is also commonly known as a high-level language, because it automates most low-level tasks that programmers must handle manually in traditional languages such as C.
If you are new to Python, chances are you've heard about the language somewhere but are not quite sure what it is about. To help you get started, this chapter provides a general introduction to Python's features and roles. Most of it will make more sense once you have seen real Python programs, but let's first take a quick pass over the forest before wandering among the trees. In this chapter, we'll explore Python's philosophy, its history, and some of its most prominent benefits and uses, before digging into the details.