Is Python for me?

Tim Peters tim_one at email.msn.com
Sun Feb 11 06:45:05 CET 2001


[DvdAvins]
> ...
> I'm looking for as many of the following traits as possible:

I bet you're not married <wink>.

> 1:a functional language. I've been intrigued by functional
> languages for a while, but have had no occasion to use them at work.
> 2: automatic garbage collection and other programmers'
> convenience features (I still have to take care of my day job)
> 3: support for objects (not necessary, just a convenience)
> 4: it MUST be distributable as a stand-alone program for Windows.

You have to understand that this one implies large executables, because the
language's entire runtime system and libraries have to be built into the
standalone.  Standalones for, e.g., C programs can be much smaller, because
they can *assume* every system already has the standard C runtime libraries
installed (or a JVM, in the case of Java).

> I'd like to be able to distribute to Mac and Linux as well.

This is at odds with desiring standalones, unless you want to build a
different standalone for every platform.

> 5. there has to a good book on the language available in English
> or at least an IDE with and excdellent help environment.
>
> I'm investigating at M,

Don't know it.

> Python,

Not functional at heart; making standalones is possible with enough pain but
not how the language was intended to be used (i.e., you'll fight it in this
area).

> BETA,

Could be cool.  Unsure about license restrictions (it's a commercial
product).

> Scheme,

Many, many implementations available, and generally compact.  Does it
support objects?  Sure, provided you build them yourself -- which is a
common answer to many "how do I xyz?" questions in Scheme.  Nevertheless,
it's a beautiful little language.

> Haskell,

Lots of fun.  See also Clean (which was designed to make standalones):

    http://www.cs.kun.nl/~clean/

> Icon,

Not functional; difficult to make standalones; no native support for
objects; but unique in many respects and well worth learning anyway.

> and Common Lisp.

Huge.  Really huge.

> Which would you use?

Python.

> Why?

This is a Python newsgroup.  Stick around and you'll get a few thousand
answers to that every month without even asking <wink>.

python-scores-highest-on-"plays-well-with-others"-ly y'rs  - tim





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