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An Introduction to Python
Paul F. Dubois, LLNL, USA

Python is an object-oriented interpreted language which is small and easy to learn. It is very easy to extend Python with your own compiled code or to embed Python into your own application. Python is very portable, available at no cost, has a large library of user-contributed modules, and an active international user community. Python is particularly useful for Web applications and there are extensive library components in this area. This tutorial will include an introduction to the new array extension which permits near- compiled-speed numerical computations, and basic pointers on how to get started if you want to combine Python with your own C, C++, Fortran, or Eiffel.

PAUL DUBOIS is a mathematician at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He is responsible for large projects in Fortran and C++ for the Inertial Confinement Fusion Program. He is author of the EiffelMath Library, and editor of the Scientific Programming Department of Computers in Physics.

Syllabus for the tutorial on
Python and Internet Programming

  1. Python Scripting for Internet Servers
    Approx. 25 minutes
    • Survey current CGI/API architectures
    • Intro to ILU Requester and API Scripting
    • Analysis and Design Choices
  2. Using Python for CGI programming
    Approx. 1 hour
    • Simple introduction to Python for CGI
    • Gradual complexity
    • Troubleshooting and design issues
  3. Programmer's introduction to the ILU Requester and API Scripting
    Approximately 30 minutes
    • In-depth explanation of HTTP interface, API mapping, etc.
    • How does wwworb work
    • When to write interfaces for distributed services
  4. Using the ILU Requester and API Scripting for dynamic Web services
    Approx. 45 minutes
    • Using wwworb as a framework for Web objects
    • PYHTML as an external representation
    • Exception handling
    • Routing methods and parameters to objects via URLs
    • Persistent data
    • Network service
  5. Overview ILU interfaces for distributed services
    10 to 15 minutes
    • Difference wrt API Scripting
    • When to write interfaces
    • How to write interfaces and implement them

Extending and Embedding Python
Aaron Watters, AT&T, USA

Extended Example of Extending Python
This section develops a module that adds new built in functions and types to Python. The discussion explains various ways to build and configure the built in portion of the Python interpreter along with general guidelines for writing extension modules.
Embedding Python under Netscape Servers
This section describes an example embedding of Python under Netscape HTTP servers that support the NSAPI module protocol. This embedding provides general scripting capabilities for all aspects of the Server configuration and operations.

Aaron Watters is a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Labs in Holmdel New Jersey, involved in AT&T Internet offerings such as the 800 toll free directory and WorldNet, as well as research into experimental Internet Services.