Python is open source programming language which has become quite popular in the decade of 2010s. It versatility as a language of choice for various software platforms like – data anlysis, data processing and web development etc indicates its flexibility. It has also featured in many industry surveys among the top 5 programming language from 2015 onwards.
Python was created by Guido van Rossum who is a Dutch programmer. He was also known as the "Benevolent dictator for life" (BDFL) for python, until he stepped down from the position in July 2018. He Worked at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) and contributed a glob() routine to BSD Unix during 1986 and helped develop the ABC programming language. But later during December 1989, he was looking for a hobby project around the time in Christmas and started working on a new interpreter for a new language. He later named this language as Python after choosing the word form a TV serial named Monty Python's Flying Circus. He admits that ABC language is the predecessor of Python language. The first release of the language was done in 1991.
Python’s strength as a new language was how easy it was to extend it support multiple platfroms. It is capable of communicating with different file formats and libraries. Van Rossum also aimed for making it a programming language for everybody. So the language’s design is simple yet powerful. As it grew in popularity and adoption, the major release of version 2.0 was done in 2000. Python moved its repository to SourceForge and granted public access to its version controlsystem. SO more people could participate in its development and testing. The version progressed to 2.7 in July 2010 and stopped from further enhancements. This version is planned to be supported till end of 2020.
With the version progress of Ptyhon 2, came some bugs and surprises like duplicate modules and constructs. This allows people to implement the same logic in multiple ways and that becomes hard to debug and enhance. So Python was revamped and version 3 was released with no backward compatibility. That’s the reason both python 2 and 3 will continue to exist till late 2020. As of Nov 2019, the latest version of Python is 3.8. What makes 3.8 better as compared to 2.x is it powerful libraries and capability to mix easily with other languages. Also python 3 is more suited for modern needs like artificial intelligence and Machine learning. It user base and support is also growing in leaps and bounds.