IN THIS APPENDIX
The underlying programming language of the Plone application is Python. Although it is not a language on the tip of the tongues of many programmers, and certainly not the mainstream media, Python is a viable object-oriented programming language. Having been on the scene for almost 15 years now, Python is comparable to Perl, Tcl, and Java in its structure and features.
A common question is "How did Python get its name ?" because it's not an acronym such as PHP. Python was named by its creator, Guido van Rosson, in reference to Monty Python's Flying Circus .
Because Python is a long-standing and stable language, many companies use it, including Red Hat, Google, and Yahoo!, among many others. As with most object-oriented programming languages ” especially those in the open -source family ”Python is a popular choice because it is so flexible and can be used to solve many different types of problems. The Plone application sits on top of the Zope application server, and Zope itself is written in Python, so it was only natural to use Python to write Plone and all its accompanying extras.
You, too, can use Python to extend your Plone installation by creating additional products that will plug into the overall framework. Or, because the majority of popular add-ons to Plone are open source, you can use your Python skills to modify core functionality of such elements.
Of course, such tasks are far beyond the scope of this book. This appendix serves only as a basic introduction to working with Python; if you want to learn more, a visit to the Python website (http://www.python.org/) is recommended, as is a good book such as Python Essential Reference (Pearson Education, 2001), by David M. Beazley and Guido Van Rossum, or Python Developer's Handbook (Pearson Education, 2000), by Andre S. Lessa.