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Python Development Team Moves to BeOpen.Com 149

Clyde Zellers writes: "The Python development team's leader, Guido Van Rossum, has just announced in an open letter that he is moving with his team to the Open Source startup, Guido and his team will now be devoting their full energies to Python developement and continuing with such innovative projects as Python 3000. "
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Python Development Team Moves to BeOpen.Com

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  • okay, does anyone know if this BeOpen company has anything to do with the BeOS?
  • by funkwater ( 20267 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:04AM (#1037487)

    Guido and his team will now be devoting their full energies to Python developement and continuing with such innovative projects as Python 3000

    Looks like a Microsoft press statement to me. Keep your eye on these Python folks.

  • Offtopic, I have some questions to ask:

    What do you know about all the various open source portals? Does anyone have experience with SourceForge, BeOpen, Asynchrony, et al? Can you give any objective comparison between two or more of them?

    Do OSS portals make any money, and if so, how?


  • Is BE( or not 2 BE)open More for smaller projects that need to get attention to them selves?
    And doesn't every one already know Python?
    If I am wrong then say so.
    If my facts are wrong then tell me. I don't mind.
  • I hope this creates a broader future for Python. I'd really like to see it go somewhere faster than it has been in the past. I like to hear things like this going on.
  • Python in an open-source environment? Nice. Always wanted to learn more about Python. Call me a newbie/dork/lamer/whatever, but the sound of a programming language named after a potentially deadly snake is appealing to me.

    Stupid question time: anybody know what Python 3000 is?

  • by Rombuu ( 22914 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:13AM (#1037492)
    but seriously, if Guido and his merry band of coders had put their blood sweat and tears into helping Perl just imagine where we would be today.

    Whitespace sensitive PERL! Hooray!
  • by Ted V ( 67691 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:16AM (#1037493) Homepage
    Think of programming languages as a form of expression. Some languages make it easier to express certain types of ideas than others. I'm sure everyone here has heard of the "30 different words for snow" in eskimo. Russian has similar motifs for concepts like oppression, I believe.

    Programming languages work like that too. Perl and Python are opposite sides of the same coin. The perl motto is "There's more than one way to do it." I don't know if Python has a motto, but it should be "There's a best way of doing it." Perl is designed for quickly digging in and doing work. Python is designed for "higher", more structured design. Why else do you think Python forces indentation? It's certainly not for Guido's comfort.

    In other words, Perl is like vernacular english and Python is like high english. Both are useful in different ways and different contexts for expressing different ideas.

  • by LegacyMan ( 193804 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:16AM (#1037494)
    Don't BeSilly
  • by AMK ( 3114 )
    Python 3000 is the vaporware future version of Python in which Guido will not feel constrained to preserve backward compatibility. In other words, it's Guido's last chance to fix the language. Currently development is supposed to start around 2002, after Python 1.6, 1.7, and maybe even 1.8 release. (It was originally called Python 2.0, then renamed as sort of an MST3K reference.)
  • Although I like Python and wish PythonLabs the best in their new adventures, I can't help but think that the course of Python and it's great contributions to the open source community will change for the worse. BeOpen is owned now by AboveNet Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of Metromedia Fiber Network, Inc. (MFN) (Nasdaq: MFNX). This is a huge powerhouse of ISP infrastructure. Metromedia Fiber Network is the leading provider of end-to-end optical transport These guys have huge bandwidth covering over 50 major cities in North America alone and currently they are partnering and buying companies throughout Aisa and Europe gaining a large amount of marketshare and international presence with planned fiber optic network builds in 16 cities throughout Europe. AboveNet is the architect of the Internet Service Exchange which is an ISP like network that provides co-location services and Internet connectivity for content providers, ISPs and application service providers.

    On the surface this looks good for Python, however with all that horsepower behind the dollars, I can't help but fear that the focus of the Python projects is goining to be tainted and rolled into just being a part of AboveNet or Metromedias product offerings as "exclusinve" and the Open Source beacon that Python was will come to an end.

  • Why why why... the rest of the world charges ahead and the open source community spends it's time duplicating effort. We have a very nice scripting language called Python laready, why must these closed minded short sighted people spin their wheels with Perl. Okay.. so I know their are some fans of Perl out there, but seriously, if Larry and his merry band of coders had put their blood sweat and tears into helping Python just imagine where we would be today.

    I'm not bashing Perl, but I really think it's an ego trip for these guys. Lets put forth our efforts into Python and leave this perl nonsense alone.

    ...better known as: "competition and choice are good things"

  • He's busily finishing up rewriting the Linux kernel configuration stuff in Python, instead of TCL/Tk. This over the rather loud protests of many of the kernel mailing list members...
  • I don't know about the portals per-se but I have one piece of experience with Be-Open. I wanted to try out the OO-browser, which seems to be part of their flagship app. It's pretty nice but there is absolutely NO community behind it. I signed up for a few mailing lists on it, that I found in the depths of google, but still no traffic after a month.
    I even sent in a patch to the author and president of Be-Open, Bob Weiner, and haven't heard anything after more than 2 weeks. I can see how he's be busy but if he wants any sense of community around his software he should try to get back to aspiring developers.
    They may have open source but I don't think that they are fostering any kind of bonds between people on the site.
    Does anyone know how to interact with the OO-Browser team, is there even such a thing?
  • by LaNMaN2000 ( 173615 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:19AM (#1037500) Homepage
    It seems to be fairly common for authors of well-known utilities to either form their own start-ups or be absorbed into existing ones. If the ideology of OSS is to develop code "for the good of humanity," I am more than a little curious why Slashdot's absorbtion into, L0pht's absorbtion into @stake, and now Python's absorbtion into BeFree has not spawned criticism. Since I view myself as somewhat of an outsider in relation to OSS, I see it as the natural evolution of OSS into the marketplace at large. In my mind, it legitimizes OSS more than it reflects on the founders' desire for material possessions.

    How do you feel about OSS companies becoming part of for-profit ventures?
  • In other words, it's Guido's last chance to fix the language.
    Don't you mean his first chance?
    Anyway I don't agree; Python isn't broken. You can do a lot in a few lines. And after that you can still read it and know what it does.
  • I am a huge fan of Perl, and have used it successfully for years, but I honestly hope that Python continues to gain mindshare.

    Let's face it, Perl is not a very readable language. TMTOWTDI basically guarantees that I am going to do something differently than my buddy in the next cubicle, and if you have ever tried to extend stuff from CPAN it becomes apparent there are a LOT more than one ways to do it.

    Python isn't perfect either, but it is a lot easier to read. And when combined with wxWindows you have a easy way to create cross-platform (well Windows and *nix anyway) GUIs. Yes, I know, Perl has Perl/Tk, and no I don't think that counts :).

    Besides, how cool it is to have a language where it is encouraged to put excerpts from Monty Python scripts in the comments? Very cool in my opinion.

    In short I think that the Perl community should stop wasting their time on Perl and start working on Python instead :). Barring that, I think that we should all just get along and use whatever tools we like best. In the Free software community there is bound to be some overlap (just like in the commercial software community). The good news is that the success of Python does not necessarily mean that Perl will wither and die. It simply means the Perl hackers will have to raise the bar.

  • by tuffy ( 10202 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:28AM (#1037503) Homepage Journal
    On the surface this looks good for Python, however with all that horsepower behind the dollars, I can't help but fear that the focus of the Python projects is goining to be tainted and rolled into just being a part of AboveNet or Metromedias product offerings as "exclusinve" and the Open Source beacon that Python was will come to an end.

    That's certainly a valid concern, but the nature of an open source project will undoubtedly keep the language on track. If, as you suggest, it starts moving down an unpopular path, anyone can fork the language ("Monty 1.0!") into something people prefer to use. I doubt such a drastic step will ever be necessary, but we have the power to take it if we need to.

  • by Devil's Avocado ( 73913 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:28AM (#1037504)
    Call me a newbie/dork/lamer/whatever, but the sound of a programming language named after a potentially deadly snake is appealing to me.

    Actually, Guido named Python after Monty Python's Flying Circus, which is infinitely cooler than naming it after a snake. You would know that if you weren't such a newbie/dork/lamer. (Just kidding!) Seriously, though, check out the language -- it rocks balls. It's like Perl without all that !@#$!@% shit.

    Stupid question time: anybody know what Python 3000 is?

    Python 3000 is the next major version of Python (although at least one more minor version is going to be released). It will be backwards incompatible and clear up many of the outstanding warts in Python's design. At this point it's not much more than a twinkle in Guido's eye.

  • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:32AM (#1037505) Homepage
    Does anybody realize just how dated this 'Python 3000' stuff is going to sound in a thousand years' time?
  • by otisg ( 92803 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:33AM (#1037506) Homepage Journal
    A couple of pretty big sites use Python big time.
    Here are some:

    Ultraseek (Infoseek's search engine for sale) is also written in Python.

    Sounds big to me :)

    .................................................. ........ .................................................. .................... []

  • There's nothing in OSS that says you can't collect money for what you're doing. I believe you're making the common mistake of confusing Open Source Software with the Free Software Foundation, which believes in developing code "for the good of humanity."
  • No, see the bottom of that letter from Mr. Van Python. They'll be late.

    ... []
  • by Anonymous Coward
    you had actually presented some logical chain of events other than your misplaced fear of corporate sponsorship it might be easier to take you seriously. Do you feel the same way about O'Reilly sponsoring Perl? Do you feel the same way about Transmeta supporting Linux? How exactly is a co-location provider going to taint a programming language?
  • You answered your question retard. It leads to nice clean and readable code. I could say the same thing about {} why do I need those.
  • by Tildedot ( 137711 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:45AM (#1037511)
    Harumph. It's been _years_ since the Python development team last sprung into action. Ever since Cleese and Idle took their poofter arses out of the mix, there's been less and less Python each and every year. Oh, I know what you're thinking: "Yes, it is spelled Python, but it's pronounced Throat-warbler Mangrove".

    Poignantly, it is now time for the Penguin on your telly to explode...

  • Looks like a Microsoft press statement to me. Keep your eye on these Python folks.

    This is unsubstantiated and biased. I don't understand how you make the Microsoft connection. The Python language is an excellent language, open source, and very useful for scripting and administration. Of course, it isn't as good as Sun's Java [],but with Jypthon [], you get the best of both worlds. The true Java garbage collection combined with the clear snytax and dynamic typing of Java. The unique thing about Jpython is that it's a Python implementation done completely in Java.

    I'm hoping to help the JPython effort by extending it to take full advantage of the robust Java platform, as I think that Python is an excellent technology which should be integrated with Java. Java and Python. A killer combination.

    Good work, Guido and the team!

    - Sun Certified Programmer for the Java Platform

    - Sun Certified System Administrator for Solaris

  • I was going to post Anonymously, but to fucking hell with that. Fuck the Karmas. Your statement is pretty dumb and fucking stupid. You don't have any really logical excuse to harbour such fears, yet you do. Why must there be people like you? Always fearing big companies, worst yet, may the God of Thunder send a big fat lighting up the asses of those that moderated you up.

  • by tuffy ( 10202 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:47AM (#1037514) Homepage Journal
    Python is whitespace-sensitive, but I think it's a misconception that this will cramp your style unecessarily. As long as you remain consistant, Python doesn't care if your blocks are indented 1 space or 10. There's still a lot of leeway for individuality.

    As for the usefulness, a semi-consistant style makes reading other peoples' code easier and it means less characters onscreen (such as { and }) for marking the starts and stops of blocks - leaving more room for code.

    It's not for everyone, I'll admit, but it didn't take me long before I'd forgotten about the indentation rules entirely. Now I don't even think about them unless someone reminds me.

  • Okay, this is a troll and a half, but my Python-zealotry badge refuses to let me ignore the gauntlet:

    You just answered your own question. /You/ have your own consistent, easy-to-follow way. I have my own consistent, easy to follow way. My friend has his own consistant, obfuscated perl-hacker-on-meth way. Problem is, when one of us looks at another's code, we have to keep dealing with your new way.

    Python makes it a requisite to perform indenting. The sensitivity is something that you can get over, in the course of a few minutes, while you learn the language.

    If you /still/ can't handle it, there is a preprocessor available, written in Python, that allows you to use BEGIN .. END style syntax. Just don't expect any Python programmers to respect your silly coding style. ;)

  • Probably as outdated as Windows 2000 feels, now ?
  • Some of the changes in the future is moving the Continuations back into the trunk of the language, and with it, lightweight threads.
  • Those aren't warts! Those are beauty marks! ;)
  • I expect we'll be starting on Python 3000 much
    ealier than previously planned. I still wouldn't
    expect it anytime soon, but I imagine serious
    design work could begin in tandem with 1.7 work.
    The previously discussed schedules were conservative in part because we had day jobs doing other things.
  • I learned Perl a while ago, and love it in general. Not having to beat a language into submission in order to express my ideas is usually a good thing.

    I then became interested in learning Python (after deciding that Perl didn't provide the bondage-and-discipline OO style that I want to use), and actually installed it on my Win98 system, only to discover that the included installation of Tk was somehow installed into the wrong place (re-install didn't help), and that as a result, IDLE wouldn't run.

    I then went back, and took at look at the Python pages, only to discover Python 3000. While it really is a Good Thing(tm) that they're openly stating that there will be incompatibilities with current Python, it also does scare me away from learning the language somewhat ...

    Granted, many things were deprecated between say, Perl 1 and Perl 5, and probably more things will be changed/deprecated in the future, but the only relatively recent surge of interest and thus use of Python seems to make the language "younger" (though chronologically Python's the same age as Perl, no?) and thus more subject to radical changes.

    Anyone care to clue me in on how much Python 3000 might change things? I know that it'll be a total redesign, and that probably even the design stage isn't exactly completely finished at this point, but I'm just wondering how much Python I would have to re-learn when Python3k comes out, if I learn Python 1.5x or 1.6 now?

  • by advtech ( 176011 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @11:57AM (#1037521) Homepage
    Tei'ehm Teuw,

    Thank you for demonstrating your lack of synaptic activity to the group. is not owned by AboveNet Communications, Inc., whom you paint as the next Evil Empire. BeOpen simply hosts servers with AboveNet, which is how I assume you came about this ridiculous and erroneous claim. In the future, I would encourage you to check your facts before emerging as offensively ignorant.

    To set the record straight, is a privately held company based in Santa Clara, CA. It is also worth noting that Red Hat's installer is based on Python, and BeOpen would hardly be served by making Python "exclusive", as you claim might be the case. I can personally assure you that any future releases of the Python software will be backed by our full and long-time commitment to the Open Source community.


    Domenic R. Merenda
    Director of Strategic Business Development
  • those 30 words for snow are a myth, they don't exist!

    Python is designed for "higher", more structured design. Why else do you think Python forces indentation?

    indentation is the only thing that makes phyton designed for structured design?
    are you trying to say that other languages are not good for that?
    IMHO, the only good thing about forced indentation, is, to make it easier for beginners, as it teaches them to good code structure. but thats it.
    i will never use phyton myself, because i do not like a certain indentation forced upon me, and there are other laguages that are designed for structured coding:
    take a look at Pike []. it structures your code at a much higher level, than indentation would do (i am not implying that phyton doesn't do that too, i just don't know enough about it) by implicitly wrapping each source file into a class. in pike you will thus make use of object orientation from the first day, without even realizing it...

    greetings, eMBee.

  • BeOpen is owned now by AboveNet Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of Metromedia Fiber Network, Inc. (MFN) (Nasdaq: MFNX). This is a huge powerhouse of ISP infrastructure. Metromedia Fiber Network is the leading provider of end-to-end optical transport

    Hmmmm .... I think I see the glimmerings of BeOpen's business model. Recall that in the early days of TV broadcasting, they had to create shows to flog the TV sets. Everyone is predicting the exponential explosion of data to replace voice as the main growth driver of telecommunications. Currently the biggest component of internet usage is mail and web browsing. But *text* is rather limited in human bandwidth requirements (eye can only read so fast) so I suspect a desire for more bandwidth hungry apps that operates on global scale. E-commerce is transaction oriented (bursty) so the only other possible market is education, exporting the US ivy league brand-names to India/China (potentially > 2 billion customers) which is where Python and the "Computer Programming for Everyone" project probably comes in to help create rich media interaction.

    I think of it as people building the pipes and storage tanks for a virtual "hub and spoke" network in the expectation that the content will flow once some heavy pumping is initiated. Distributed development and professional community fostering is only the start.


  • Odd, considering that neither are GPL languages.
    Python does seem less restrictive though.


  • From this [] page, I see that Guido's fiance is into verious martial arts. I just wonder if there's some kind of conspiracy going on with these northern european open source creators with wives who can kick butt...

    Oh yeah: Python rocks! Finally, a read-write language!


  • IMO, Python's white-space sensitivity is a good idea because it takes "you" and "me" out of the equation.

    It's great that "you" have your own "consistent, easy to follow" code format - which is easy to follow for, well, YOU. But what if that format isn't easy to follow for "me" or "the next guy"? (see: much existing C and Perl code for examples)

    By taking code formatting, braces, and other religious formatting arguments out of the loop, Python code is pretty much readable by any Python programmer.

    Imagine if programming languages required writing and saving the code in Word/WordPerfect or some other proprietary format; you could say that "your" file format was best, but I couldn't necessarily read it. Fortunately, code is normally saved as ASCII text so I can read it in emacs or vi and not care how you wrote it. I look at Python's "format enforced/religiously neutral" system as providing similar benefits.

  • You sir, are obviously unfamiliar with the common practice of counting how many times a press release uses buzzwords to inflate its own importance, and comparing it to the Microsoft index.

    This is a proven method of determining technologies that are in danger of being subsumed by Microsoft; simply count how many meaningless marketing buzzwords are in their inital press release, and divide by the length of the press release, in words.

    The higher the result, the more danger of being assimilated. Don't believe me? Take a look at Kerberos. Buzzword saturated, and a Adapt-Expand-Break victim of Win2k.

    (And this might also just happen to be a /joke/, sir. Try not to take things so seriously in the future, hm?)

  • by mattdm ( 1931 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @12:18PM (#1037528) Homepage
    I think a better analogy is:

    Perl is like English. It's got lots of words and concepts borrowed from other languages. Sometimes spellings are confusing and even irrational. There's irregularities everywhere you look. It's not particularly hard to learn the basics, but picking up all of the nuances takes real effort -- many people who use it daily are still confused by some of the grammar. It's also very flexible, and a favorite language of many for writing poetry.

    Python is like Esperanto. It's designed from the beginning to make sense, and to be easy to learn. Spelling is phonetic, and "unnecessary complications" have been removed. It's still a fully-functional language in which any concept can be expressed -- being a planned language doesn't automatically make it Orwellian -- but there isn't the flexibility found elsewhere.

    The Esperanto approach has its advantages, especially for programming. (Let's hope Python has more success in the real world!) In an alternate, more sensible universe, international documents are written in Esperanto. Likewise, it makes sense to design big collaborative projects in Python. On the other hand, I really enjoy the flexiblity and room for creativity provided by the English language -- and by Perl.


  • I don't think the hassles are all that bad, myself. Chances are the programmer is already using indentation to make blocks of code more readable, so why not use that information rather than force the programmer to duplicate block-marking effort? This could pose a problem for non-monospaced editors, but I don't think a lot of programmers use those.
  • gee, i did not comment on how structured phyton is, i commented that indentation is not the only thing needed for a good structure, which is what ted seemed to imply.

    greetings, eMBee.

  • Don't hold your breath. It looks like their next piece isn't due out for another 1000 years:

    "... and continuing with such innovative projects as Python 3000."
  • ...sensitive.

    It has been a very long time since you were able to write:


    There is simply the mandatory white space you are used to and the mandatory white space you aren't used to.

    Out of curiosity, has your absolute unwillingness to format source code in a different way never caused you problems on the job? Are you still in college or do you always work alone?
  • Not quite sure what you mean by that but I don't think Python will fit the bill, either. I like Python but I doubt it's OO capabilities could ever be described as "bondage and discipline". It lets you break encapsulation almost whenever you feel like it. It doesn't have strong typing or static type checking.

    Something like Eiffel might be more to your liking, but that isn't very widely uesd.
  • Also look at [] for a very cool use of Python.
  • IIRC, Ultraseek isn't actually written in python, it's got python embedded for use as a configuration language.

    Thawte used python extensively in their site; and I think Yahoo's webmail is python based, too.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    BZZT! Wrong answer. Look at your funding pal. All are the major AboveNet shareholders and controlling interest. BEOpen may be privately held, however it's being held by the board of AboveNet. The parent post was not a troll as the oh so insightful moderators have tagged it. It appears that Mr. Teuw is right on track and also shos he did a bit of research prior to his post.

    I hope you are correct that the open source efforts and ethics will continue, but follow the money, he may be on to something.

  • hmmm, there are two flaws in your comparison:
    • esperanto has all its words and concepts taken from other languages.
    • what flexibility is it, that you miss in esperanto? esperanto has more ways to express yourself then any other language i have seen.
    what esperanto has, is less ambiguity, something which no computer language has at all...
    no irregular grammar, this would be usefull for a comparison: perl has many different syntax variations (the grammar), while phyton has a more regular syntax

    greetings, eMBee.

  • AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, the spellchecker, yes please!!!!!!!!!!!

    sorry guys!!!!

    greetings, eMBee.

  • by jhylton ( 65650 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @12:48PM (#1037539) Homepage

    The design stage for Python 3000 isn't exactly started at this point :-). Given that uncertainity, I do not expect that any changes introduced by Python 3000 will be so radical that you will need to re-learn Python programming. If you learn Python, you should not have any trouble adjusting to Python 3000.

    There are good books and tutorials available for Python. The Python tutorial [] that comes with the documentation and books like Learning Python and The Quick Python Book are good places to start. They were written before Python 1.6, but there aren't too many changes []; certainly not many that will affect teaching materials.

    I don't know what will change in Python 3000, but I can tell you a little about what we hope to achieve. We would like to take the opportunity to fix some of the language's warts without being hamstrung by backwards compatibility. I think the language has few warts, though, so there should be few changes. Andrew Kuchling put together a list of language warts [] that captures the sort of thing we'd like to fix.

    The internals of Python 3000 will change a lot, and the C API will surely be different. The internal changes are not going to cause a lot of monkey with the language definition.

  • AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, another reason for me to stay away from this language, i can't spell it properly: it's python, not phyton
    it's python, not phyton
    it's python, not phyton
    it's python, not phyton

    sorry, guys!!

    greetings, eMBee.

  • Everyone's heard of the myth of the Eskimo's and their words for snow, and a lot of people both believe it and infuse it with some sort of larger sociological/linguistic significance, but it's bunk.

    A rebuttal [] to the myth (there are many). There's no such language as "Eskimo," and, like the fish in the proverbial fish story, the number of snow words tends to grow with each retelling.

  • Unlike certain whitespace-sensitive syntaxes (Makefiles), python interprets tabs as being equivalent to 8 spaces, which is how most editors (in default configuration) show them. If the lines look lined up, they are lined up.

    True, you can configure any decent editor to show tabs as 4, 2, 12, or seventeen spaces. Personally, I like an indentation level of four spaces. With vim this means I set softtabstop=4. Tabs still show up as 8 spaces (as G--d- intended), but each time I whack the tab key I get four spaces.

    I have been watching the python mailing list (gated from comp.lang.python [comp.lang.python]) for a while and code in Python professionally. I have never seen anybody come to the newsgroup with a problem in their code caused by invisible indentation problems, and have never seen it in the code I work with,

    I have seen several flame wars in this issue, but have yet to see any evidence that it is a problem in practice.

  • I have done some research on this a bit myself.

    CollabNet's Source Exchange seems to be a collaborative place for developers but does not directly support small-time OSS projects. I quote from their website, "...a place where highly skilled Open Source developers supply their expertise to committed buyers with well-defined, financially-backed Open Source projects."

    Asynchrony is centered around mini-developer communities and commercial projects. The catch: They own all the created source code.

    Source Forge provides a pure OSS development environment but they seem a little Linux-centric (which is not the limit of OSS). They provide great tools and a great environment. They also have the Compile Farm bit that is very unique.

    BeOpen doesn't host projects at all (from what I can tell). They are a portal to other projects, resources, forums and developer communities.

    One you didn't list is OpenAvenue. OpenAvenue hosts projects for free, seems to have all the needed tools for source management, bug tracking and so on. All the tools are browser based which is pretty cool.

    Hope that helps!

  • +1 (Savage Beating)
  • I don't see this as a problem at the moment.

    I develop open source software in my free time. It's not what I'm paid to do. Startups like this are providing opportunities for open source hobbiests to turn the tables and do what they really like to do, not as a hobby on the side of something that pays the bills, but to pay the bills.

    Granted, there are some potential pitfalls. Whenever you bring money into the equation, there exists a potential to lose the whole "itch-scratching" motivation in the wake of deadlines and targets. And often, corporations are antithetical to the whole concept of giving away your work for the sake of something bigger.

    Look at some of the examples so far, though. Linus Torvalds is working for Transmeta, Alan Cox gets paid by Redhat, Eric Allman founded Sendmail, Miguel started Helix Code, and they're all still churning out the free software.

    I see it as encouraging. An undercurrent in the whole open source movement is the recognition that pure greed-based capitalism isn't necessarily the only or best philosophy for life. The key seems to be prioritization; all the people I've mentioned have made giving away the code a higher priority than a paycheck, and, until I see reason not to, I trust them to continue to do so in their new positions.

  • Actually, the name "python 3000" is to be admired!

    It's a provisional name, mocking the spectacularly ironic lateness of "Windows 95". The idea is that it's really really unlikely that python 3000 is going to be late. (And the real plan is to rename it when the release is at all drawing near - probably to a time-independent name. Something boring, like Python 2.0, or something more provocative, like The Spanish Inquisition.)

    Anyway, *i* enjoy the irony.

  • Orabidoo,

    In fact, we do not. A simple exercise of research on this matter would be to visit the site. ;-)


    Domenic R. Merenda
    Director of Strategic Business Development
  • Crovax,

    You invited the community to "say so" if you were wrong. I'm saying so. ;-) In response to your question, is an Open Source application publishing company based in Santa Clara, CA. With the addition of Guido van Rossum and the core Python development team, BeOpen stands poised to make another significant contribution to the community.


    Domenic R. Merenda
    Director of Strategic Business Development
  • Specifically, it prevents the inevitable discrepancies between braces and indentation that people accidentally do. This is unfortunate when the computer asseses structuring rigorously by the braces, while people tend to assess the structuring by the layout - the indentation. Sometimes it turns out to be syntactically correct, but not what the programmer *meant*. A nearly invisible bug.

    The principle is that, whenver possible, computers should be made to do what's easiest for the person, and not vice-versa - and the indentation is easiest for the person to read. The layout manifests the programmer's intended structuring - for the programmer and and the computer.

    As for not being able to do what you want - all python imposes is that separate lines at the same block level must have the same indentation, and increasing levels have greater indentation w.r.t. their containing blocks. (The amount of indentation is up to you, and can vary.) I would be surprised if this is contrary to the vast majority of seasoned programmers' personal styles. The only thing you have to lose is your braces (and you can use parens to force groups in expresions, besides) and semicolons (and you *can* use the semicolons, but why?).


  • At this point, I've read two replies from BeOpen and both of them are laced with insults.
    Allow me to advise the author to relax and to be more open.
  • Actually, some of us think it is much better than Java for many tasks beyond "scripting and administration". It is a higher level language than Java. And yes, it is useful for making up for Java's flaws.
  • 1. Enforce indentation rules to make code readable.

    2. Braces are now redundant, so get rid of them.

  • What, having a parent company means you can no longer work for the "good of humanity"? Since when? Can you only work "for the good of humanity" with no visible means of support at all? If so this "good" will be seriously limited and in short supply I'm afraid.

    The ideology of Open Source is to have the source open and useable by others. Period. There is no dogma about not having reasonable sponsorship or means of support.
  • I understand that unicode cannot be properly supported without breaking some existing code.
    1. Minimising distracting markup;
    2. Standardising layout so that mantainers don't have to follow
      `individual' developers homegrown `consistent, easy-to-follow' layout;
    3. Faster parse times.

    There are bad ways to do whitespace dependent layout, and there are
    good ways. Python is the latter, but experience with the former have
    led to ingrained prejudices. Without whitespace, Python would start
    to look like Scheme or XML.
  • I think you're confusing money with evil. While the FSF does write software purely for social reasons, they are not anti-money or anti-corporation by any stretch of the imagination. The egcs project would not have been possible without at least a little bit of cooperation from the FSF.
  • What's broken in the language?
  • Dear "Director of Strategic Business Development,"

    You might find a lighter tone more effective. So far I've read five comments by you, and all were laced with flame. Even though I saw no reason to disagree with your comments, your tone made me dislike you immediately. Show your responses to your "Director of Public Relations" and ask for advice next time.
  • I suggest you go to, where you will find that 4 of 7 investors of are from AboveNet Communications, and one of the others is formerly with AboveNet. Whether or not you're owned by them, or that they are the Evil Empire, I couldn't say. But having 4 of 7 investors (or 5 of 7, depending on your count) certainly indicates they have a say in your company.

  • by jetson123 ( 13128 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @02:58PM (#1037562)
    What makes Python a great language is its simplicity, both at the level of implementation and at the level of the language.

    What I hope to see for Python 3000 is mostly cleanups that weren't possible in earlier versions because of backwards incompatibility: a simpler, leaner implementation with a "nicer" interface to C++ code, lexical scoping rules, and a simple full garbage collector in place of reference counting. Moving the NumPy numerical array type into the core would also help with creating numerical extensions. But that's largely all I would like to see in the next major release of Python.

    I'm not sure that the transition to of the development effort is altogether a good thing. If this results in extra resources and they are focussed on enhancing Python, Python may become too complex and featureful; a number of other languages that started out like Python have gone down that road and become marginalized. Or Python may simply end up being a side-line for some other business, just like what seems to have happened with Scriptics and Tcl.

    Python is Guido's baby, and it's his to decide where to take it. But I hope he'll keep these kinds of concerns in mind.

  • > This is unsubstantiated and biased. I don't understand how you make the Microsoft connection.

    Time to reboot your humor receptors. Notice his bolding of innovative, read my .sig, and be aware of the way we're ridiculing MS for its overused mantra.

  • by Tei'ehm Teuw ( 191740 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @03:09PM (#1037566)
    Mr. Merenda,

    Thank you first off for your candid and straightforward reply.

    The information I posted was taken directly from your corporate web site under the investors section, where it outlines your primary investors. Over three quarters are executives of AboveNet communications which does happened to be a subsidiary of Metromedia.

    I did not mean to imply that is going to be , as you put it, "The next Evil Empire". After re-reading my initial post I can see how it could read that way and I apologize if I have insulted you or any other BeOpen associate. I for one have been a Python supporter for a long time and have appreciated all Python has done for the Open Source community.

    That said, The statement that BeOpen simply hosts servers with AboveNet implies that is the extent of the BeOpen/AboveNet relationship, which I find to be misleading and also false. From public filings from the creation of BeOpen, it is quite apparent that the effort is VC based however subsidised by many of the exec's at AboveNet.

    Now if you or the other associates of BeOpen are not aware of this, I feel for you in the fact that your owners and management have kept this from you.

    My initial post was an attempt to illustrate that as in cases past, when big money VC's and investors "Partner", "Merge with", "Aquire", etc. Open Source firms, the firms have a huge fight when trying to hold on to the ideals and ethics of open source. My post was trying to outline my fear that this may happen to Python, now PythonLabs. It was not intended to be a flame targeted at Python or any of it's associates, only a thought that big money has a history of getting what it wants, regardless of what gets in its way. In this case Open Source ideals.

    In closing I would like to thank you for your honest reply and also thank you for your commitment to the open source community for any future releases of the Python software.


  • Would some moderator with half a brain please moderate this back up? This is not flame bait. It's a comment about a feature of the language.

    (If you want a flame, though, how about this? Why the fuck does the lameness filter kick in when I use "Flamebait???" for the subject??? Apparently two question marks is ok, but three is lame. Who the fuck came up with such a lame lameness filter???)

  • Seriously. I also hated the idea, but after actually trying it, it was a pleasure to use. I found that in practice, I indented everything properly, so python wasn't really forcing me to do anything differently.

    As for the issue of cramping your style, most style issues boil down to where you put brackets, which is of course a non-issue in python. If you really are consistent, I doubt you'll hate it.

    In practice, being forced to indent properly isn't more difficult than being forced to close those brackets. It's a nice clean language, partly because of the whitespace thing.

    Of course, I could go on all day, but the only way you will be convinced is if you really gie it a shot. But I came into it like you -- I was sceptical and a big perl fan. I'm still a big perl fan, but python is also pretty cool.

  • ndentation is the only thing that makes phyton designed for structured design?

    Python is not just about a new indentation scheme. It has other nice features -- for example, a decent OO system.

    Pike looks interesting, however, its module collection is not as extensive as perls or pythons. AFAICT it doesn't seem to do regular expressions, and lacks some of the data types perl/python have ( such as linked lists ). But it's new and no doubt it will evolve. Still, I don't see a compelling reason to use pike over perl or python.

  • I agree with your last statement, very nicely worded.

    However I don't find any reference to Exodus on any Web based search in relation to BeOpen or to AboveNet. Exodus was founded by a couple of former IBM execs and from what I can find out in th short time since the stroy posted, they appear to be competitors (Exodus and AboveNet) not partners.

    As for AboveNet owning BeOpen, I beleive you are correct in your statement, but the controlling interest is held by AboveNet execs. That would be about as close to ownership as you could get. IMO.

  • What makes BeOpen superior to SourceForge? Easy. BeOpen is not affiliated with VA Linux Systems, of which we've already established has a near monopoly on resources when it comes to the Linux community. Looking past the "VA Linux Systems will screw you and your project raw if you let them" argument, the simple act of merely housing everything under one umbrella is dangerous. If VA Linux Systems goes straight into the crapper (seen their stock performance lately?) like the vast majority of other .com companies will, then they will take all the assets they own down with the ship, including the very page you're reading right now.

    Diversity is a good thing for Linux. One company owning and running it all is not.

    My $0.02,

    Bowie J. Poag
  • by advtech ( 176011 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @05:06PM (#1037591) Homepage would like to thank the Slashdot community for generating such volume of conversation on the Python issue. Because some rumors have been flying around today, we would like to let the community know a little more about as a company, as well as answers some of the questions that have been raised. is a venture-backed Silicon Valley start-up based in Santa Clara, CA. We are an application publishing company fully committed to Open Source and the community surrounding it.

    We did, in fact, receive funding from individuals who were the founders and deal makers behind Exodus Communications and AboveNet. We are not, however, "owned" by AboveNet. We feel that having access to these successful and highly intelligent business professionals is an asset to our company. has acquired,, and, providing content and community around these sites. We have also interviewed a number of Open Source luminaries on the site, including Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation, Jordan Hubbard of FreeBSD, Inc., Matthias Kalle Dalheimer of the KDE Project, and Beau Vrolyk of SGI. As well, we have produced a number of documents relating to Linux and its usage, which inform and aid the community as a whole. has also been in contact with Richard Stallman concerning an equipment donation to the Free Software Foundation, one of our many community outreach programs.

    The Core Python development team has joined We have signed an agreement with Guido and his team stating that we will always release our Python products as Open Source, ensuring that the community's rights are protected.

    We continue to employ members of the community to produce content and develop software. We also support several projects on SourceForge, paying the salaries of the developers in charge of these endeavors.

    We hope the community will recognize through our actions the strong commitment to giving back and promoting the Open Source and Linux movements that has displayed and will continue to foster.

    Thank you all for your interest in and in Python. We look forward to working closely with the community to promote Open Source and Linux.

    Domenic R. Merenda
    Director of Strategic Business Development
  • Supporting Unicode shouldn't be that big a deal, though there are still things to argue over, and it's slated for 1.6. The current interface is documented in this Unicode proposal []; what's described there is mostly already implemented in the 1.6 alpha releases and CVS tree. Outstanding issues still remain: 1) the default encoding to use, 2) a Unicode-aware regex engine (partially there in 1.6a2, with a new version about to hit the CVS tree) and 3) declaring an encoding for Python source files (probably going to be left to 1.7). If you want to see good Unicode support in 1.6, I'd recommend compiling the CVS tree, trying it out on your application, and complaining loudly if you find shortcomings. Experience with an actual application is worth dozens of vague speculations.
  • Of course you need to think about making money. What happens when you're old and sick and need medical care? Or want a house for your family?
  • As for not being able to do what you want - all python imposes is that separate lines at the same block level must have the same indentation, and increasing levels have greater indentation w.r.t. their containing blocks. (The amount of indentation is up to you, and can vary.) I would be surprised if this is contrary to the vast majority of seasoned programmers' personal styles.

    It is contraray to mine. I use an extra half-indent to indicate a continued line. Even in languages that require the backslash on the end of the last line. It is a pretty rare quirk, but I have seen other use it, and more importantly, it helps me a great deal when I look over code (as for avoiding long lines, that's hard with long typenames, and C/C++ functions decl syntax, esp. with C++'s constructor init-list syntax as well).

    I have also seen a lot of code that uses "extra" spaces to line up parts of similar lines to emphisize similarity. Sometimes those spaces are before the first non-white space. This isn't something I do (I like moving the common parts into local const variables when I can, or macros, or I line them up but only after the first non-whitespace), so I won't miss it.

    That said I don't hate Python. I dislike one feature. I can't think of a single language I use that doesn't have at least one feature I don't dislike. Sometimes even as strongly as Python preventing me from throwing in a bit of extra indentation where I think I need it.

    I don't use it because I have plenty of mid-performance psudo-embedable languages in my toolbox allready (Perl, Tcl, sh). I have little need for another. Hell I have little enough need for the three I know! Mostly I'm stuck doing stuff that really needs to be in C (part of an existing C program -- like a device driver), or C++ (new program, but expected to be CPU bound, and pushed hard). A pity I can't get my boss to let me try Eifel for some production system.

  • Microsoft once released a Basic interpreter for Apple II. It was called Applesoft (aka FPBasic), and all 10 kilobytes of it were burned into the ROM of all Apple II Plus and later Apple II computers. You could do things like

    and the line editor would translate it into
    10 IF X = 30 THEN GOTO 50
  • You forgot []. Same as sourceforge in most respects. AFAIK. IANAL. HTH. YMMV.
  • We did, in fact, receive funding from individuals who were the founders and deal makers behind Exodus Communications and AboveNet. We are not, however, "owned" by AboveNet. We feel that having access to these successful and highly intelligent business professionals is an asset to our company.

    Translation: They own our asses right back to the perineum, and have options on our various penises, testicles and women's parts, too.

    John Montoya, going to business school and law school so you don't have to.

  • Fix that indent-based block structure for fuck's sake. The only reason they do it is because it's easier to newbies. Fsck newbies! Well ok not necessarily, but they could at least offer an alternative for us ancient Perl programmers.
  • I'm not sure that the transition to of the development effort is altogether a good thing. If this results in extra resources and they are focussed on enhancing Python, Python may become too complex and featureful; a number of other languages that started out like Python have gone down that road and become marginalized. Or Python may simply end up being a side-line for some other business, just like what seems to have happened with Scriptics and Tcl.

    I don't think there's any danger in Python being coopted by BeOpen. They have provided funding for XEmacs for some years now and continue to provide funding with the current GTK graphics port. I have found them reasonable people to work with.

    If osm cares to write a `natalie-portman.el' that does something interesting I'll put it in XEmacs and InfoDock.

  • PYTHON 3000 []


    The Newest Technology

    In Vehicle Security


  • It makes it sound cooler, the 3000 that is. They where going to have

    Hyper Ultra Python Phase 3000 Build 7AD - Omni Code 8

    But they thought it would be more subtle to just use '3000'
  • You CAN make money with FSF software or GPL software. Open Source means, "we act like the GPL for marketing purposes, but when it comes down to it, it's now more than a meaningless buzzword"

    GPL == True open and FREE source. Open Source == Great Marketing buzzword.

  • Oh yeah, mean ol' VA, they stink! They have been doing nice things for Linux since 1995 out of some sick plan to take over!

    Bowie, you just don't seem to get it, at all. There are a -ton- of sites that we have nothing to do with, including LinuxToday, BeOpen, advogato, Kuro5hin and the rest. A near monopoly means that we could prevent other sites from even happening, which, clearly, we could not do. Also, for it to a be a monopoly we would have to have a service that people were forced to use. You are welcome to not use any of the aggregate web sites.

    For those of you who don't know, Bowie thinks VA screwed him and "stole" his idea in creating sourceforge and has been whining like a child ever since. In fact VA had been doing hosting for years and sourceforge was a logical extension to that. Just click around on slashdot to learn about poags issues with VA.

    I'll agree with you that diversity is a good thing, though, and I for one am glad BeOpen is around.

    Chris DiBona
    VA Linux Systems

    Grant Chair, Linux Int.
    Pres, SVLUG

  • Thank you, but I dont need you of all people telling the rest of the community what I "think" of your company Mr. DiBona. If you're going to do that, at least get your shit straight. It's what I know about your company (from working with you and others for nearly two years) not what I think.

    You also failed to point out that you are an employee of VA Linux Systems. More importantly, you're their mouthpiece. "Linux Community Evangelist", isn't it? Tsk tsk.. Its only when people look at your bio [] that they see you're an employee of the company.

    In the meantime, feel free to pull your head out of your ass anytime you feel up to it, Chris. From the looks of it, it sounds like it may take a while to dislodge. I'm not afraid of people hearing what I've had to say about your company (and what I'll continue to say) because all of it is basically true. Why should I be afraid?

    On that note, here you go, kids..Knock yourself out:

    A list of everything I've written on Slashdot in the past 9 months or so. []


    Bowie J. Poag
  • So how did I fail to point this out? It was -right after my name- in the post. Or did you not read it? I am indeed a mouthpiece, I never made a statement saying otherwise. You are , yet again, seeing what you want to see to support your misguided pogrom.

    I'm not afraid of people hearing what you have to say at all, I mean, anyone with half a brain can read what you have to say and dismiss it. My -job- is to point out that you are wrong, so that those who are seeing your childish rants for the first time understand that and give us the fair chance that we deserve.

    Chris DiBona
    VA Linux Systems

    (hey, that's how I sign -every- post!)

    Grant Chair, Linux Int.
    Pres, SVLUG

  • Zope [] is usually run as a long-running process that's accessed through either Persistent CGI or FastCGI (though the FastCGI was still unstable when I tried it). A FastCGI module [] is also available if you just want to run regular CGI scripts a bit faster, and mod_python [] is available as an Apache module.
  • Hey Chris. I have to agree with you. I get along pretty well in the open source community without even reading slashdot all that much, so there goes the "communications monopoly" theory. SourceForge hosts some development services for my project, Scoop [], and VA has yet to try to make me sign over my soul to them in return. In fact, I think SourceForge is a huge benefit to us all. Sure, I could find another place to run mailing lists, and I could run my own CVS, and I could run an ftp server for releases, but just the fact that I can spend half an hour and have all those services collected in one place is a big plus for developers who also have "real" jobs to attend to.

    I've followed Bowie's ranting against VA for a while, and frankly, it reeks of childish pique. Get on with your life Bowie. If you still want to run something like SourceForge, think of a different name, and write some code. You're just not convincing anyone of anything except that you're a petulant child.


  • Thanks man, and keep up the great site.

    Grant Chair, Linux Int.
    Pres, SVLUG

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.