The Tutorial:
 


    FAQ

  • What is Python?
  • What is CGI?
  • Why Python? Isn't Perl the de facto CGI Language?
  • The tutorial drop-down list doesn't work. What's wrong?
  • The example programs don't work. What's wrong?
  • What's with the snake logo?

  • What is Python?

    As stated on the official Python Language Website:

      Python is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language.  It is often compared to Tcl, Perl, Scheme or Java.

      Python combines remarkable power with very clear syntax. It has modules, classes, exceptions, very high level dynamic data types, and dynamic typing.  There are interfaces to many system calls and libraries, as well as to various windowing systems (X11, Motif, Tk, Mac, MFC).  New built-in modules are easily written in C or C++.  Python is also usable as an extension language for applications that need a programmable interface.

      Python is copyrighted but freely usable and distributable, even for commercial use.

  • What is CGI?

    Internet Related Technologies best defines CGI as:

      CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface, and is a mechanism through which a browser is allowed to communicate with programs running on a server. If you look at each word in turn it makes more sense -

    • Common - something that is available to many people, regardless of what software they are using.
    • Gateway - a portal through which two things communicate. In this case, the browser communicates to the server.
    • Interface - this implies that we are providing a "front end" for the application running on the server, which is exactly what it is. You enter information in the form, for example, and this is submitted to the program, just like a windows-style program.
  • Why Python? Isn't Perl the de facto CGI Lanuage?

    Perl is an excellent, efficient, and compact interpreted language.  It is ideal for manipulating text files which, in turn, makes it very attractive to CGI programmers.  In addition, the Perl Database Interface (DBI) provides a standard interface to many commercial database engines.  While CGI programs can be written in any executable format, Perl has a strong community of CGI programmers along with extensive documentation and source code archives.

    Perl comes under fire for portability, ease of extension, and readability issues. (Yes, good programmers are supposed to write readable code, but this isn't always the case - even more so with Perl.)   In most situations, Python handles these gritty details better.

    Debates over the better language have reached religious fervor on many programming language newsgroups. In the end, it comes down to individual programmer preference and productivity. The new batch of programmers raised on C++ and Java may find Python an easier language to grasp.

  • The tutorial drop-down list doesn't work. What's wrong?

    To view the tutorial, you must configure your browser to enable JavaScript. Check the documentation to your specific browser in order to enable this feature.

  • The example programs don't work. What's wrong?

    To view the output of the example CGI programs found in the tutorial, you must configure your browser to enable JavaScript. Check the documentation to your specific browser in order to enable this feature.

  • What's with the snake logo?

    Yes, Guido van Rossum, Python's creator, named it after the popular British television show "Monty Python's Flying Circus." So, why did we choose the python snake as our site logo? Those funny copyright and trademark laws ...



 © 2000 Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia