Python is a dynamic object-oriented programming language that can be used for many kinds of software development. It offers strong support for integration with other languages and tools, comes with extensive standard libraries, and can be learned in a few days. Many Python programmers report substantial productivity gains and feel the language encourages the development of higher quality, more maintainable code.
Python runs on Windows, Linux/Unix, Mac OS X, OS/2, Amiga, Palm Handhelds, and Nokia mobile phones. Python has also been ported to the Java and .NET virtual machines.
Python is distributed under an OSI-approved open source license that makes it free to use, even for commercial products.
The major theme of Python 2.6 is preparing the migration path to Python 3.0, a major redesign of the language. Whenever possible, Python 2.6 incorporates new features and syntax from 3.0 while remaining compatible with existing code by not removing older features or syntax. When itâ€™s not possible to do that, Python 2.6 tries to do what it can, adding compatibility functions in a future_builtins module and a -3 switch to warn about usages that will become unsupported in 3.0.
Some significant new packages have been added to the standard library, such as the multiprocessing and json modules, but there arenâ€™t many new features that arenâ€™t related to Python 3.0 in some way.
Python 2.6 also sees a number of improvements and bugfixes throughout the source. A search through the change logs finds there were 259 patches applied and 612 bugs fixed between Python 2.5 and 2.6.