And now for something completely different... Python has a very extensive, well documented and portable module library that provides a large variety of useful functions. The Internet-related collection is particularly impressive, with modules to deal with everything from parsing and retrieving URL's to retrieving mail from POP servers and everything in between.
Python is a powerful, free, open source, general purpose, interpreted programming language. Python runs on a wide variety of platforms including Linux, Microsoft Windows (95/98/NT), Macintosh (including OS X), virtually every flavor of Unix, and many other platforms. Python is roughly comparable to Perl or Java, though it has several significant strengths (and a few disadvantages) over each. Python makes it very easy to write clean, maintainable, and powerful programs for a variety of tasks with minimum hassle.
This article is not a Python advocacy piece nor a general Python tutorial. There are already several excellent resources on the net for both tasks. In fact, one of the main joys of using Python is the well organized and ever useful Python web site. Few languages can boast such a wealth of clear and concise documentation gathered in one location.
For instance, you can go here for a summary of Python's features and comparisons to other popular languages. For a much more thorough introduction to general purpose programming in Python, please see the tutorial. Finally, you can obtain Python for your system here. (That is a generic download page and there may be easy to install packages available for your specific distribution or OS. See the end of this article.)