Why Python?

Konrad Wojas usenet at wojas.vvtp.tudelft.nl
Wed Sep 4 15:50:26 CEST 2002

Benjamin wrote:

> Hi guys (and girls)
> I just begun to learn how to program. And I choosed Python for
> doing that. surfing around the web i found an article about this
> language, they said it's the ideal language for beginners to the
> world of programming. and i admit it, the syntax is very clear making
> the code very readable, i learn easily the concepts of programming
> and i soon wrote some nice programs. but since i finished my
> newbie-tutorial, i am wondering about one question: is it worth to go
> deeper into python? i talked to a friend of mine, he told me that i
> should try php..
> what should i do?? ^_^ in other words: what is python good for?
> why should i continue with python?

I've been doing web development in PHP since 1998 and have written a content 
management system with a quite complex shopping cart system and a 
backoffice system to handle all sales. It's over 10000 lines of PHP code, 
excluding the html code.

I've really had it with PHP, it's unmaintainable, ugly and slow. Errors like 
'parse error on line 487' are not fun to work with. I really like python. 
The systax is a lot clearer, exceptions are great and I really love those 
stacktraces if an exception is not handles. Object oriented programming in 
PHP is a joke, it really sucks. And PHP is buggy. I've encountered numerous 
bugs, especially in the extension modules. XSLT in PHP? Forget it, the 
module will crash in 50% of the cases. And compiling PHP yourself with a 
lot of extension modules can be a real nightmare. And above all: python is 
a generic language, PHP is only useable for web development and small 
maintainance scripts. It doesn't have bindings for anything beyond web 

I'm still maintaining the PHP code I have written, but I use python for all 
new projects. Don't start big projects in PHP, you'll regret it ;-)

Konrad Wojas

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