Python is fun (useless social thread) ;-)

Discussion in 'Python' started by John Salerno, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. John Salerno

    John Salerno Guest

    I have to say, I'm having a very enjoyable time learning and using
    Python. I spent a year playing around with C# and I feel like I
    learned/know less about it than I do about Python from just the past
    couple of months. Of course it's easier, but there's just something
    about it that makes me keep coming back to it and try to think of new
    ways to use it.

    Lately I've started to branch away from the "core" Python and I started
    learning internet/cgi programming, then a little with mysqldb (which
    involved a detour into learning some MySQL query commands), and now I'm
    fiddling with wxPython. My next goal is PyGame.

    So out of curiosity, I'm just wondering how everyone else came to learn
    it. If you feel like responding, I'll ask my questions for easy quoting:

    Did you have to learn it for a job?

    Or did you just like what you saw and decided to learn it for fun?

    Also, how did you go about learning it? (i.e., like I described above, I
    started with the main stuff then moved on to the different available
    frameworks)

    Was there any necessity in the specifics you learned, or did you just
    dabble in something (e.g. wxPython) for fun?

    Are there still some things you feel you need to learn or improve?

    Additional comments/complains here: :)
    John Salerno, Jun 15, 2006
    #1
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  2. On 2006-06-15, John Salerno <> wrote:

    > So out of curiosity, I'm just wondering how everyone else came
    > to learn it. If you feel like responding, I'll ask my
    > questions for easy quoting:


    I didn't want to use Outlook to read my e-mail, so I needed a
    way to get them onto a non-MS box. The only way to suck my
    e-mails out of the MS server was to use the COM API built into
    Outlook.

    I didn't have any development tools on the Windows machine and
    wasn't about to pay MS for a C/C++ compiler.

    Google found me an example of doing COM stuff using Python.

    It turns out that using Python was way easier than using C
    would have been.

    --
    Grant Edwards grante Yow! This is a NO-FRILLS
    at flight -- hold th' CANADIAN
    visi.com BACON!!
    Grant Edwards, Jun 15, 2006
    #2
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  3. Michele Simionato, Jun 15, 2006
    #3
  4. > Did you have to learn it for a job?

    No, I learned it because Perl was too dirty and Java to complicated.
    Now it is part of my daily job.

    > Also, how did you go about learning it?


    Programming, reading this newsgroup, reading the python cookbook,
    reading python source files of the standard library.

    > Was there any necessity in the specifics you learned, or did you just
    > dabble in something (e.g. wxPython) for fun?


    I tried wxPython, but switched to pygtk. And I did some cgi programming
    with quixote and ZODB.

    > Are there still some things you feel you need to learn or improve?


    There are some things in Python I don't know very well: Decorators and
    generators. But somehow I don't think that I really need them.

    Thomas

    --
    Thomas Güttler, http://www.thomas-guettler.de/
    E-Mail: guettli (*) thomas-guettler + de
    Spam Catcher:
    Thomas Guettler, Jun 15, 2006
    #4
  5. Re: Python is fun (useless social thread) ;-)

    Thomas Guettler wrote:
    > There are some things in Python I don't know very well: Decorators and
    > generators. But somehow I don't think that I really need them.


    I think that I learn best when I have a problem and I'm trying to solve
    it.
    There are features that you don't know what they're for, and you never
    use it, but when you come across an scenario where none of the features
    you know can help you, you start wondering "there must be something
    else..." and a quick search in google, or a python recipe, will give
    you the solution and a sample usage of these features.
    =?iso-8859-1?q?Luis_M._Gonz=E1lez?=, Jun 15, 2006
    #5
  6. John Salerno

    Dave Opstad Guest

    In article <jAdkg.2309$>,
    John Salerno <> wrote:

    I had retired from Apple in 2001 after 33 years in the business, feeling
    completely burned out. Didn't want to even look at another line of code.
    After resting and recuperating for a couple years, though, I picked up a
    book on Python (Alex Martelli's wonderful "Python in a Nutshell") and
    started tinkering with it. I was utterly amazed at how well Python's
    metaphors fit my way of thinking. It was actually fun to program again!

    So now I'm back at work full-time, at a company that lets me do 95%+ of
    my work in Python, and I'm having the time of my life. My copy of the
    Martelli book is seriously dog-eared at this point; I'm glad a new
    edition is being released in a few months.

    In short: Python rocks.

    Dave Opstad
    Dave Opstad, Jun 15, 2006
    #6
  7. Michele Simionato, Jun 15, 2006
    #7
  8. Re: Python is fun (useless social thread) ;-)

    >> Did you have to learn it for a job?

    No.

    >> Or did you just like what you saw and decided to learn it for fun?


    Tried Perl first, but since I don't use it every day (sometimes don't
    do anything but RUN scripts for weeks on end if I'm in a big project),
    I would forget all of the Perl between learning sessions. Python seems
    to be made of words, not symbols. Also, it seems to be a minimalist
    language. I like that.

    >> Also, how did you go about learning it?


    I had no computer science background, just a long time Windows user.
    The Guido tutorial moved way too fast. Alan Gauld's "Learning To
    Program" was just right. From there, lurking on this group, and books.
    Especially the Python Cookbook, as I don't normally 'get it' when
    someone just describes theory or an abstraction, I also must see an
    example. The examples in the Cookbook are useful and also come with
    explanations about how they work. Same goes for this group. Nine times
    out of ten, when people answer a question here, they toss off an
    example or two, which is just what I need.

    >> Was there any necessity in the specifics you learned, or did you just
    >> dabble in something (e.g. wxPython) for fun?


    I almost always have a task I want to do, e.g. search a database or
    manipulate files. From there, I branch out and learn, even if it's not
    part of the original task.

    >> Are there still some things you feel you need to learn or improve?


    I am not touching OO, classes, or GUIs until I understand EVERYTHING
    else. Could take a few years. ;)

    rd
    BartlebyScrivener, Jun 15, 2006
    #8
  9. John Salerno

    Jarek Zgoda Guest

    John Salerno napisa³(a):

    > So out of curiosity, I'm just wondering how everyone else came to learn
    > it. If you feel like responding, I'll ask my questions for easy quoting:
    >
    > Did you have to learn it for a job?
    >
    > Or did you just like what you saw and decided to learn it for fun?
    >
    > Also, how did you go about learning it? (i.e., like I described above, I
    > started with the main stuff then moved on to the different available
    > frameworks)
    >
    > Was there any necessity in the specifics you learned, or did you just
    > dabble in something (e.g. wxPython) for fun?
    >
    > Are there still some things you feel you need to learn or improve?


    The very first encounter was with Red Hat 5.2, back in 1998. RH had an
    installer made with Python and NEWT toolkit. It looked great, just about
    as good as any of my Clipper or TurboVision programs. I looked at the
    code and it scared me (at this time, I was writing mostly in Clipper).

    Then in 2001 I came to work in another company, which has MS Proxy at
    its internet border. Being unable to use any of internet tool of my
    choice, I quickly found a solution, NTLM Authorization Proxy Server
    (NTLMAPS) by Dimitri Rozmanov. Which, to my surprise, is written in pure
    Python. This time I was ready to learn Python. I started using it for my
    spare-time projects and later I was able to "inject" Python to my
    organization. This can be concluded as "learned for fun", but now it
    takes part of my paid work.

    I started with writing "glue" code for various system tools (i.o.w. as a
    "shell scripting"), but now I tend to write standalone client tools,
    with GUI in various toolkits (wxPython at work, PyGTK in my spare time).
    They are mostly of "smart client" type, using various network interfaces
    (ftp, http, xmpp, MQSeries).

    And I still don't get this "web application" hype, and all these "web
    frameworks" scare me, as I internally don't trust any magic.

    --
    Jarek Zgoda
    http://jpa.berlios.de/
    Jarek Zgoda, Jun 15, 2006
    #9
  10. John Salerno enlightened us with:
    > Did you have to learn it for a job?


    Nope, but I do most of my job in Python nowadays. I heard rumours
    about it being a nice language. After my first look at it, I was
    hooked!

    > Also, how did you go about learning it?


    I first followed the tutorial, then simply started using it. And I
    watch this newsgroup to see if there are new things to learn.

    > Was there any necessity in the specifics you learned, or did you
    > just dabble in something (e.g. wxPython) for fun?


    Mostly dabbling, although I learned (and improved) TLSLite because I
    needed it for my graduation project.

    > Are there still some things you feel you need to learn or improve?


    I'd love to be able to calll functions from Windows DLLs on x86 Linux.
    Don't know if it'll be possible, though. Ideas anyone?

    Sybren
    --
    The problem with the world is stupidity. Not saying there should be a
    capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the
    safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
    Frank Zappa
    Sybren Stuvel, Jun 15, 2006
    #10
  11. Fredrik Lundh, Jun 15, 2006
    #11
  12. John Salerno

    John Salerno Guest

    Re: Python is fun (useless social thread) ;-)

    Michele Simionato wrote:
    > John Salerno wrote:
    >> So out of curiosity, I'm just wondering how everyone else came to learn
    >> it.

    >
    > I have already reported my first experiences with Python here:
    > http://groups.google.com/group/comp...onato my first python&rnum=3#3d77eba36a97751d
    >
    > Michele Simionato
    >


    Very interesting post. And I definitely agree with you that, as much as
    everyone seems to suggest the tutorial, I find it very difficult to
    actually learn from. It helps to provide a review for the language, but
    as a newbie, I really wouldn't have learned Python from it.

    I do, however, think the docs are pretty good, although I sometimes find
    myself just wishing that a function definition was simply laid out in an
    easy to read format that included all of its parameters, so I would know
    exactly what to pass to it (I guess help() is good for this though).
    John Salerno, Jun 15, 2006
    #12
  13. Re: Python is fun (useless social thread) ;-)

    BartlebyScrivener wrote:
    >.... I am not touching OO, classes, or GUIs until I understand
    > EVERYTHING else. Could take a few years. ;)


    You know how modules separate globals, right? That is, what you
    write in one module doesn't affect the names in another module.
    What classes (and hence OO) give you is a way of saying, "I'd
    like something a bit like a module, but I'd like to make several
    of them, and not have them interfere with each other." That is
    the big intuition about objects, the rest is just details.

    --Scott David Daniels
    Scott David Daniels, Jun 15, 2006
    #13
  14. John Salerno

    John Salerno Guest

    Re: Python is fun (useless social thread) ;-)

    BartlebyScrivener wrote:

    > I am not touching OO, classes, or GUIs until I understand EVERYTHING
    > else. Could take a few years. ;)


    LOL. That's exactly why I love Python, because you don't have to mess
    with any of that (explicitly) if you don't want to! Of course, here I am
    probably going way overboard by messing with classes and GUIs. I'd like
    to reinforce all the Python basics first though, so I don't want to get
    too far ahead of myself. I just need to find a project to work on that
    will limit me to the Python basics (although I'm sure that will still
    involve classes, at least).
    John Salerno, Jun 15, 2006
    #14
  15. John Salerno

    John Salerno Guest

    Jarek Zgoda wrote:

    > And I still don't get this "web application" hype, and all these "web
    > frameworks" scare me, as I internally don't trust any magic.
    >


    Yeah, I dabbled with CGI, but I haven't seriously looked into anything
    like TurboGears yet. Of course, my problem is that I don't *need* to
    learn TurboGears, Django, etc...I just feel the desire to learn them
    (which is bad, in a way, because then I have no reason to use them!) And
    of course learning a framework like this means learning a lot of other
    parts too, like CherryPy, Mochi or something like that, etc. :)
    John Salerno, Jun 15, 2006
    #15
  16. John Salerno wrote:
    When I was pursuing a PhD, I was working on query optimization in
    object-oriented databases. My thesis was that you could actually
    do query optimization without breaking encapsulation, and I had
    several tricks that I knew how to use to do that. I needed a
    language in the DB that had static typing but no implication of
    shared structure (implementation or class). In my investigation
    for the work, I kept seeing references to Python, but (A) the white-
    space issue made me think it was silly, and (B) I needed a static
    typing for my work.

    After graduate school, I returned to one of my hobby projects, a
    string search program, that I wanted to update to a more modern
    language. I ported the thing to C, but decided it was time to look
    at Python more closely, so I used it to experiment with some of my
    state machine building algorithms. By the end of the project, I
    had fallen in love with Python as both a programming language and
    a way of expressing algorithms to other programmers (who didn't
    necessarily know it was Python I was writing).

    --Scott David Daniels
    Scott David Daniels, Jun 15, 2006
    #16
  17. Fredrik Lundh enlightened us with:
    >> I'd love to be able to calll functions from Windows DLLs on x86 Linux.

    >
    > call functions *in* DLLs, you mean?


    Yeah, that's what I mean.

    > http://docs.python.org/dev/lib/module-ctypes.html
    > http://starship.python.net/crew/theller/ctypes/


    Last time I checked, ctypes could only load Windows DLL when running
    on Windows. Are you sure I can also use it to load a Windows DLL on
    Linux?

    Sybren
    --
    The problem with the world is stupidity. Not saying there should be a
    capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the
    safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
    Frank Zappa
    Sybren Stuvel, Jun 15, 2006
    #17
  18. John Salerno

    Jarek Zgoda Guest

    John Salerno napisa³(a):

    >> And I still don't get this "web application" hype, and all these "web
    >> frameworks" scare me, as I internally don't trust any magic.

    >
    > Yeah, I dabbled with CGI, but I haven't seriously looked into anything
    > like TurboGears yet. Of course, my problem is that I don't *need* to
    > learn TurboGears, Django, etc...I just feel the desire to learn them
    > (which is bad, in a way, because then I have no reason to use them!) And
    > of course learning a framework like this means learning a lot of other
    > parts too, like CherryPy, Mochi or something like that, etc. :)


    Yea, that's right -- all these frameworks are of no use for me too. I
    think I should learn at least some basics of them (like how WSGI stack
    works), but my spare time is at most 2 hours at evening, so I choose
    things that are closer to my current tasks, like new GUI framework (i.e.
    Kiwi for PyGTK or Wax for wxPython) or new networking library.

    Anyway, noone is expected to be an expert in every aspect. ;)

    --
    Jarek Zgoda
    http://jpa.berlios.de/
    Jarek Zgoda, Jun 15, 2006
    #18
  19. Re: Python is fun (useless social thread) ;-)

    >> I'd like something a bit like a module,
    >> but I'd like to make several of them,
    >> and not have them interfere with each other."


    Thank you. I sense what you are saying, but at this point I'd be
    thinking, "Why not just make several modules?" :) I'll get to it. I've
    got my hands full just learning everything else.

    rd
    BartlebyScrivener, Jun 15, 2006
    #19
  20. Sybren Stuvel schrieb:
    > John Salerno enlightened us with:
    >> Did you have to learn it for a job?

    >
    > Nope, but I do most of my job in Python nowadays. I heard rumours
    > about it being a nice language. After my first look at it, I was
    > hooked!
    >
    >> Also, how did you go about learning it?

    >
    > I first followed the tutorial, then simply started using it. And I
    > watch this newsgroup to see if there are new things to learn.
    >
    >> Was there any necessity in the specifics you learned, or did you
    >> just dabble in something (e.g. wxPython) for fun?

    >
    > Mostly dabbling, although I learned (and improved) TLSLite because I
    > needed it for my graduation project.
    >
    >> Are there still some things you feel you need to learn or improve?

    >
    > I'd love to be able to calll functions from Windows DLLs on x86 Linux.
    > Don't know if it'll be possible, though. Ideas anyone?


    WINE? If you can run a DLL on linux, you can ultimately run a windows
    python on linux I guess :)

    Diez
    Diez B. Roggisch, Jun 15, 2006
    #20
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