Why should I switch to Python?

Courageous jkraska1 at san.rr.com
Thu May 11 05:48:46 CEST 2000

> What I miss from perl: I'd say using perl as a shell scripting
> language is faster. Python has all the same features but they're
> often implemented as functions or classes in the standard library,
> rather than as special punctuation, so there's more typing to do.
> And if you learn both languages from the O'Reilly "Learning P*"
> books,...

Speaking of O'Reilly... _Programming Python_ sucks, if you ask me. The
organization of the book is bizarrely different than most all other
programming books, where such books usually open up with the basics,
then talk about control structures, then do some advanced programming
topics, and so on. The ability to get the information you want just
isn't there, partly because the author framed the book around the
construction of some software project, instead of around the concept
of covering the material by category, as it's usually done. I finally
gave up and simply went to the HTML docs (which also aren't organized
all that well; you'd think you'd be able to find the shell builtins
easily, but someone had to actually point my nose to them before I
finally found them, I wonder why that is?).

I've ordered the _Essential Python Reference_, and I'm hoping that's
lots better. Any professional programmer understands the kinds of
things they are looking for (control structures, bitwise operators,
et c.), and only books like _Python for Dummies_ should assume that
a programmer needs to be lead by their nose through fundamental
understanding of a programming language.

I do really like Python, but the HTML documentation is begging for
a good technical writer, IMO.


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