We promote, but do not require, Python as a scripting language over Perl because in our opinion it is a cleaner language. A nice alternative to Python is Ruby.
The Python Home Page reads:
Python is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language. It is often compared to Tcl, Perl, Scheme or Java.
Python combines remarkable power with very clear syntax. It has modules, classes, exceptions, very high level dynamic data types, and dynamic typing. There are interfaces to many system calls and libraries, as well as to various windowing systems (X11, Motif, Tk, Mac, MFC). New built-in modules are easily written in C or C++. Python is also usable as an extension language for applications that need a programmable interface.
The Python implementation is portable: it runs on many brands of UNIX, on Windows, OS/2, Mac, Amiga, and many other platforms. If your favorite system isn’t listed here, it may still be supported, if there’s a C compiler for it. Ask around on news:comp.lang.python -- or just try compiling Python yourself.
The Python implementation is copyrighted but freely usable and distributable, even for commercial use.