Python is a well-established language, with the current version (version 3) released in 2008. Version 2 is currently the most widely used version of the language (and the version that is the subject of this tutorial), and it is installed by default on nearly all modern UNIX systems. Python is also available for OS X and Windows.
Python was first released in 1991. You can read about the history of Python at its Wikipedia page or by going to one of the many Python websites. The best books to learn about Python are Python Essential Reference (good for the absolute beginner - I used it to learn Python!) and Learning Python (also an excellent book which I've used as a reference and to help teach Python).
This is a short course that will provide you with a quick taste of Python. Please work through this course at your own pace. Python is best learned by using it, so please copy out and play with the examples provided, and also have a go at the exercises.
This course is a mirror of the Perl course, with exactly the same pages, examples and exercises. If you want to compare Perl with Python, then please click the Compare with Perl links.