(slightly OT): Python and linux - very cool

TuxTrax TuxTrax at fortress.tuxnet.net
Thu Aug 8 05:41:06 CEST 2002

On 7 Aug 2002 14:43:06 -0700, Mr. Berserker Wrote in
Steve Ballmers hair grease:

>> Anyway, they had suggested python as a good first language
> Definitely. In the future, Python will likely replace BASHI*T as a
> learning language, the difference being that Python is probably worth
> it for serious projects, from what I know of it. I ought to seriously
> invest some time in Python; its syntax, which looks like pseudocode,
> but less scribbly, seems very interesting. Does it make interpretation
> slow?

from what I have been learning about python (I am a rank newbie), it
depends on what you are doing. A conversation I was following in a
python newsgroup seemed to indicate that in some situations, python,
even though it is an interpreted language, can be faster (after the
initial run is made to generate bytecode) than C. The discussion was
centered around arrays of strings, and because python is especially
well suited to this, it does it amazingly fast, a fact I can attest to
in my experiments while learning.

Anyone who has ever had to manage arrays of pointers in C will
appreciate the ease and speed with which python does this. There are
three types of constructs built-in that are specifically designed to
do this (and possibly others; remember - I'm a newbie); Lists,
dictionaries, and tuples. All are very fast, and all have libraries
available to make manipulation a snap. Python is, IMHO, the lazy mans
language, which is one reason I love it. So much of the details are
handled for you, and so many really great libraries are available to
do the work for you - standard equipment. It is no wonder that
professionals use it extensively, such as industrial light and
magic. If it's this easy for me to use, just starting out, then
imagine what a pro can do with it!

I was able to write a program to access and download over 12,000
COLA headers, and print them out, before I even knew how to do a
simple 'for' loop. Not terribly useful in and of itself, but at that
stage of my language education, it illustrates how much of the 'grunt'
work is done for you, as others have said. 

Oh, and Python is easy to grok  ;-)



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