Is Python for me?

Mark Pilgrim f8dy at
Sun Feb 11 02:27:32 CET 2001

In article <20010210175216.26827.00000474 at>,
  dvdavins at (DvdAvins) wrote:
> I'm planning to write a program for myself which, if I'm happy with the way it
> turns out, I will likely distribute as shareware. I'm looking for as many of
> the following traits as possible:

Python has all of these traits.

> 1:a functional language. I've been intrigued by functional languages for a
> while, but have had no occasion to use them at work.

Python has many features of functional programming, including lambda, map,
filter, and reduce.

> 2: automatic garbage collection and other programmers' convenience features (I
> still have to take care of my day job)

Python has automatic garbage collection based on a combination of reference
counting and mark-and-sweep collection.

> 3: support for objects (not necessary, just a convenience)

Python is fully object-oriented.

> 4: it MUST be distributable as a stand-alone program for Windows. I'd like to
> be able to distribute to Mac and Linux as well.

Although I have never done it personally, Python comes with utilities to
"freeze" a program and distribute it in object (not source) form.  Python is
cross-platform, and you can freeze for any supported platform (including the
three you mention).

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

O'Reilly just did a review of several free Python books available online.

If you are on Windows, I would recommend ActiveState's IDE, which has
method/attribute completion and popup help (similar to Visual Studio), syntax
highlighting, integrated debugging, and a built-in method/class browser.

Hope this helps.

You're smart; why haven't you learned Python yet?

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