Python vs. Perl

Jonathan Gardner gardner at
Wed May 23 00:09:51 CEST 2001

I am interested in Python, not because it looks cool - but precisely the 
opposite. My first impressions of Python were that it was going to be 
something like MatLab (horrors!) or BASIC (GASP!) So I thought to myself, "If 
this looks so bad from the outside, there must be something good on the 
inside. Otherwise, no one would be using it."

I've examined superficially all the constructs in Python. It looks very well 
designed. It looks robust and easy to read. (It looks painfully easy to read 
for a perl guy! Aren't computer languages supposed to be more like 
hieroglyphics and ASCII art?) I like the object-oriented aspects of it. I 
like the documentation aspects. I like the simplicity of everything - the way 
almost anyone can understand it. (Is this a feature or a bug?)

It doesn't seem good enough to convince me to get knee deep, however. I am 
going to miss a lot of the C features that I live and die by (while (a = 
getc())), and I am going to miss the "do this or die unless that" aspect of 
Perl. What does Python have that makes it so great? Why should I spend time 
to become intimate with it? I am looking for comments from people that 
actually have used Perl or C/C++ extensively, and I am looking for comments 
that go beyond the FAQ.

Jonathan Gardner
Software Engineer, CarDomain Networks
(425) 820-2244 x123
gardner at

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