Python Success Stories or Nightmares

Erik Max Francis max at
Fri Jan 31 05:05:08 CET 2003

Mongryong wrote:

> Let's hear people's success stories with Python and why they did the
> switch.

I've mentioned parts of my story in bits and pieces over the years. 
Here's the longest and biggest chunk from the "Truth in dating" thread
earlier in the month (which I've pasted below).

I've even gotten paid to use Python; at my last job, we used it for an
automated build testing process that would test every single changelist
to see if it had broken on any of the four platforms we were working on
(Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Solaris, though I was only involved with
the latter two, being an ex-Windows an ex-Macintosh guy), and I used
Python with PIL with a smattering of Tkinter to build a system that
would automatically render a series of documents to raster images, and
then diff them against a QA-blessed set of images; after a run, one
could interactively go through each of the failed tests and see the
before and after images, as well as an XOR of the two to highlight the
difference, and (if memory serves) a grayscale representation of the
alpha channel (it's easy for the alpha channel to be different and it
not be obvious).


Andrew McGregor wrote:

> We (University of Canterbury Physics, at the time) had been using a
> lot of
> Fortran (of course), C and Lisp, with a little Perl and lots of
> shellscripts for glue.  When Java arrived, the general impression was
> that
> it was a cute toy.  That's still basically my impression, it's mostly
> useful for UI work and areas where performance doesn't matter (there's
> lots
> of those, which is why Java is popular).
> I'm just irritated I didn't find Python myself until '01.

Same here (I found Python in early-mid 2000).  I'm an experienced
programmer, but had long wanted a high-level language bridging the gap
between shell scripts and full-blown C or C++ programs.  I had
begrudgingly learned and used Perl to fill that gap, but quite frankly
even while I was using it didn't enjoy it.  (The object orientation in
Perl, ugh.)

I constantly learn new languages, even ones I know I'll never use, to
broaden by knowledge base, and one day picked up _Programming Python_
which I used for light bathroom reading.  Even though I didn't much care
for the book (but as an already experienced programmer it didn't stop
me), it soon became apparent that Python was the language I was looking
for.  My first project was a socket-based bot framework for a
proprietary talker, and my second was a full-blown implementation of a
chess adjudicator.

"That'll do, Python."

 Erik Max Francis / max at /
 __ San Jose, CA, USA / 37 20 N 121 53 W / &tSftDotIotE
/  \ The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
\__/ Oscar Wilde Quake III Arena /
 A personal guide to Quake III Arena.

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