There are only 4 billion addresses in IPv4 and RIPE is down to the last 16 million in Europe. At its current rate of usage (4 Million every 10 days) RIPE would exhaust its supply in 40 days. To alleviate the issue rationing of new addresses has been stepped up.
What is an IPv4 address
An Internet Protocol v4 address (IPv4 or just IP address for short) quite simply the address used for a device in a network using IPv4.
Each IPv4 address is a 32 bit number represented in 4 octets separated by dots. eg 126.96.36.199
A singe Internet connected device can have more than one address and addresses cannot be transferred easily ( if an address is used in north Africa and the computer is switched off the address cannot just be re allocated in north America )
What is the solution
IPv4 has a replacement protocol IPv6 where the address space has been expanded from 32 bits ( 2^32 addresses = 4,294,967,296) to a 128 bit address space (2 ^ 128 = 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 ) which is a lot more.
I cannot speak for all languages but the Python 2.7 Library for sockets describes the implementation as being IPv4/IPv6 neutral. So in theory Python apps using the default libraries would not need code changes to work in an IPv6 environment.
Start getting involved today, look at getting an IPv6 certification from Hurricane Electric. Petition your ISP to give you IPv6. Start to understand your firewall better ready to implement IPv6.
Look at getting your web site live to return on IPv6 and IPv4.
Original source of this RIPE IPv4 exhaustion – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19600718#