[Python-talk] October meeting topics

Tom Bigford tom at bigford.net
Fri Sep 23 11:08:40 EDT 2005

Kent Johnson wrote:

> 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?
> http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/3882
> 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!

Kent - Thanks for your enthusiasm - if anything shakes me to take a hard 
look that will be it! 


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