[Python-talk] October meeting topics

Kent Johnson kent37 at tds.net
Thu Sep 22 14:19:58 EDT 2005

Tom Bigford wrote:
> I have to admit though, I am also having problems getting excited about 
> python.  The problem is, nothing has pushed me over the edge from mildly 
> curious to fanatic, as it has (evidently) several in this group.  I can 
> certainly relate to the "...oh no, another language to learn ..." school 
> of thought.  OTOH i am a language junky - Java being my 6th language to 
> use professionaly - and am currently looking for the Next Big Thing to 
> come along in the language world.
> What is needed is someone who is passionate enough about the language to 
> compare it to what exists.  I would say that Java is the current state 
> of the art in main stream programming (if not the most widely used, and 
> i am discounting single archetecture backword steps like C#).  I would 
> love to hear someone explain to me,  in a technical way,  why python is 
> the one.  

Some specific comparisons are in this essay: Why I love Python: http://personalpages.tds.net/~kent37/blog/stories/18.html

Compared to coding in Java, coding in Python is faster, gets the job done with *a lot* less code and is way more fun! Python is easy, powerful and fun - pick three :-)

If you don't believe me, would you believe Eric Raymond?
or maybe Bruce Eckel?
http://www.artima.com/intv/aboutme.html (powerpoint presentation)

More subjectively...

More than once when writing pseudocode to define an algorithm I have realized that it would be shorter, faster and more precise to write working Python code than to write the pseudocode.

I once had a slightly complex algorithm to code. I prototyped it in Python in a few hours. I needed a Java implementation so I ported the Python code. It literally took as long to port the tested, working Python code to Java as it took to write the Python code in the first place.

Porting the other way, from Java to Python, the major activity is deleting text. After you get used to Python, Java looks very verbose and noisy.

Maybe the problem with 'selling' Python is that from the outside, it's hard to believe that yes, it really is that good!

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