Re: Forms support in clients
Mon, 26 Sep 1994 15:31:41 +0100

> - A secure language for which secure implementations are "easy"
> - A reasonably simple language that can be learned and implemented in
> a vaguely concise way
> - A language which allows a variety of presentation approaches (e.g. a
> single program can use a GUI interface or a simpler interface,
> either through abstract routines or more directly
> - Portable
> - Extensible
> - A language with a secure reference implementation which may be used
> freely by developers (i.e. it is unencumbered by things like GPL or
> other licenses that may inhibit development)
> - Reasonably efficient

Python scores high on this list -- it is easy to learn, has sufficient
power, already supports a number of GUIs (from curses via Motif to
Tk), is portable (including Macs and PCs), extensible in C/C++,
embeddable, has powerful built-in operations that make it efficient
for most usage, and the reference implementation is free and
unencombered by GNU. There is also considerable support for WWW and
Internet protocols in the standard library, as well as support for
multimedia data types (e.g. image and sound files and -- on some
platforms -- drivers).

The main obstacle would be developing the current implementation into
a secure version. All built-in functions that can modify the file
system would have to be modified so that they can optionally refuse to
function. I am developing several ideas for this, based on the
approaches for other interpreted languages, but maybe it's more
appropriate to discuss that on comp.lang.python...

BTW, Python's home is <>. Source,
docs and goodies are also accessible via

--Guido van Rossum, CWI, Amsterdam <>