Python history: the many versions of a unique language


Tokio School | 13/10/2022

Python is the world’s third most used programming language in the world. But, how did it achieve this position? In order to reach an answer, we’re going to review the whole of Python history. From its first version, launched in the late 1980s to the latest, which appeared this year.

If you’re here it’s either because you’re an expert programmer or because you’re interested in knowing more about one of the most important programming languages of the present time. You’re at the right place!

Python is a simple language but, in order for you to be an expert in it, you’ll need training and specialized knowledge. Want to learn more? Don’t miss out a single detail!


Python’s creator: meet Guido Van Rossum

Guido Van Rossum is the original creator of Python and thus the person responsible for its existence. An IT expert born in Holland, he was in charge of designing Python and coming up with and defining all possible pathways in the evolution for this popular programming language.

Why the name Python? The name of this programming language honors the Monty Python, the famous British comedy troupe.

During the Christmas festivities of 1989, while Van Rossum worked in a Dutch research center (CWI), he decided to commence a new project as a personal passtime. He planned on following through ABC, a programming language that had been developed at the same center where he worked.

ABC was developed in the early 1980s as an alternative to BASIC. It’s a language intended for programming beginners because of its easy learning and use. Its code was compat but legible.

However, the project didn’t grow past a certain point due to the hardware limitations present at the time, so Van Rossum decided to give a second life to his idea and, taking from his own starting point, began working on Python.


Python history: a look at all its versions

Python history begins with Guido Van Rossum in 1989, when he started the language’s development. By February 1991, the first implementation took place and the first public version was made available: the 0.9.0. version.

The 1.0 version was published in January 1994, the 2.0. version was published in October 2000 and the 3.0. version was published in December 2008.

The first version already included classes with legacies, the handling of exceptions, functions and one of Python’s main characteristics: the modular functioning. This allowed the program to be much more accessible and cleaner even for those with basic programming knowledge. A feature that has remained true until today.

Up until 2018, the development of this popular programming language was personally directed by Van Rossum. He decided to step aside in 2019 and, since then, five people are in charge of deciding how the programming develops and evolves. This council is renovated annually.

When the first definitive version of Python came out, the popularity of this new programming language was such that comp.lang.python (a dedicated discussion forum) was created, thus growing the language’s number of users even more.

1.0 Version

Python is the programming language that Van Rossum started developing while working at the CWI. It was this research center which, in 1995, made the 1.2 version free. From that moment on, and once unattached from the CWI, Van Rossum made the code more accessible. By 2000, the main Python developers team changed to in order to give life to the BeOpen Python Labs team.

Python 1.6.1 is exactly the same as 1.6, except for some fixed bugs and a new license which is suitable for GPL.

The 1.6 verion of Python presented some licensing issues until the Free Software Foundation (FSF) managed to change Python to a Free Software license, which would make it compatible with GPL.

Version 2.0

In october 2000, a second version of Python was published. This new version included list generation, one of the most important features of this programming language.

In 2001, the Python Software Foundation was created, which from Python 2.1 onwards is the owner of all code, documentation and language specifications.

Building up from this new feature, this new Python version also included a new system thanks to which programmers were able to make cyclic references and, in such a manner, Python was able to collect garbage inside the code.

Version 3.0

The last big update in Python release history took place in 2008 with the launching of the 3.0 version, which was launched to solve the main malfunctions in this programming language’s design.

Although Python kept its previous philosophy in this last version, as a programming language it has accumulated new and redundant pathways for programming the same element. This translates into the need of newer versions that eliminate duplicated constructors.

Python 3.0 breaks the backwards compatibility of language, because Python 2.x code doesn’t necessarily have to run in Python 3.0 without modifications.

The last update on the 3.0 version of Python was launched in October 2022. It’s the 3.10 version, a programming language that won’t be updated until next years.


Become an expert Python programmer

Now that you’ve heard the full Python release history and many of this versatile programming language’s features, you are likely intrigued to continue deepening into all the possibilities it offers.

If you’re looking for high-quality training, look no further! In our Python programming course you’ll learn everything you need to know about this programming language.

At Tokio School we’re experts in helping professionals acquire new skills that keep them up-to-date for the job market. Don’t think twice! Ask us about our course!

Get free information

We get you ready!


"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You may also be interested in...