Random thoughts from an aspiring Pythonista

Discussion in 'Python' started by Chris, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Chris

    Chris Guest

    I was first exposed to Python in '94-95 by a fellow comp sci student.
    After a brief "play time" I discarded it was too radical. I *hated*
    the indentation == block of code theme. Besides, Forth was the One
    True Language(tm). :)

    Fast forward 6-7 years of real world programming in VB, C, NATURAL (a
    COBAL derived quasi 4GL), PHP, Perl and others. Programming wan't my
    main job, but I did it a bunch. Never wrote anything beyond toys in
    Forth, and didn't really play with it after school...

    I was working for a small ISP and needed to revise some Perl scripts I
    had written about a year before. After 4 days of trying to figure out
    how I wrote the things in the first place I just rewrote them from
    scratch. There must be a better way!

    I forget exactly how, but Python was brought back to my attention.
    After having dealt with the real world of braces, I was willing to
    take another look.

    It didn't take long before I fell in love. Even with the previously
    hated indentation as structure concept. Now I saw the beauty. Why
    have one type of block structure for the computer and another for the
    human?! Haven't we learned anything? We all know that if you have to
    keep track or more than 1 thing for each update, sooner or later you
    forget to do something!

    I've been messing about with Python on and off (mostly on) for about 3
    years. Mostly it's small utility scripts. I've done 1 mid-size
    system (~3500 loc) although I think it would be 3-4 times bigger with
    any other language. wxPython even makes GUI programming fun!

    While many of the following aren't unique to Python, Python is where I
    really "got" it so Python gets the credit ;)

    -Indentation is structure

    -Introspection and dynamic programming made easy

    -List comprehensions!

    -Strong dynamic typing

    -An incredible standard library. Several times I've thought I was
    going to need to build a custom class only to find that using the
    standard library and 2-3 lines of code did the trick! (Lately this
    was working with Julian dates as the business world uses them, YYDDD
    and CCYYDDD)

    -Python documentation is amazingly well written, although sometimes it
    is a little terse. (Note to self: write some more examples for
    inclusion in the next manual!)

    -DocStrings rock!

    -DocStrings + PyDoc is just unreal!

    -unittest: Beyond the first intro course all programming courses
    should be built on the concept of test driven development. (Theory
    courses aside, of course.)

    -import this

    -Elegant is better than inelegant

    -Unless elegant isn't clear

    -Python gives you enough rope to hang yourself, but you have to know
    where to look.

    -Python land has a dearth of trees, branches or posts to use the rope
    to actually hang yourself. And the landscape is so beautiful we don't
    even notice most of the time. :)

    -The Python Cookbook.

    -Python has lots of support to make writing maintainable software
    easy. It doesn't force you to do anything, it just makes it easier.

    -It's a language you can swear by, not at.

    -Built in high level data structures.

    -References, not pointers.

    -pysco - when speed really, really matters on i386 (and really, what
    else matters? ;->)

    -Interactive interpreter - now I know exactly what this code does!

    So much to love. Anyway, thanks to all the great people who have
    brought us Python.

    Still searching for an even prime > 2!
    Chris, Jul 8, 2004
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  2. On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 16:33:41 -0400, Chris <> wrote:

    >-It's a language you can swear by, not at.

    Or in. :)

    Christopher Koppler, Jul 9, 2004
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