Experienced programmer evaluating Python

Dave Brueck dave at pythonapocrypha.com
Mon Nov 3 03:29:00 CET 2003


> Hello.  I'm an experienced programmer who is evaluating learning Python if
> it is applicable to a few projects.  The programs I am going to list are
> production software - they are not throwaway toy projects, but will
> actually have real world application.  I've spent years writing C++ and
> Perl code, but I would like to try "this Python language" out in their
> implementation, as I have the luxury of slack deadlines for the next
> little while.

Awesome - hope you find the info below helpful.

> 1] Embedding Python into a realtime game.  I'm willing to take a
> performance hit over strict c++ in the range of 10%, if the implementation

A few commercial games out there have done this (Google Groups should turn
up a few links if someone doesn't post the specific games) so it's
definitely doable although I'm not sure of how much of a performance
overhead you'll incur - hopefully someone more knowledgeable will chime in.
At least one commercial game used the Stackless variant of Python so that
you can have literally thousands of "microthreads", each running a separate
game entity. You might also check out Pygame, although that's probably
farther down the path than you're thinking of going.

> 3] Redistributable end-user product development tools.  I know and love
> using wxWindows in C++.  Basically, I need the ability to distribute
> everything necessary for developers on the Internet (read: not average
> users) to run wxWindows based Python apps on Win32 development
> workstations.  Licenses and convenience come into play.  I don't mind a
> large download for this crowd, but asking them to compile anything is
> above and beyond.

Not a problem, especially for Win32. www.wxPython.org plus stuff like py2exe
or McMillian's Installer can give you whatever combination of half-baked or
fully-baked applications you need. On Windows you can install Python,
wxPython, and most other add-on libraries without requiring the user to have
a compiler, and licensing isn't an issue with Python or wxPython. Another
interesting twist is to use ctypes, which lets you call just about any API
in any Windows DLL, again without a compiler, and again easily
distributable.

> Finally, is there any issues with me not distributing Python source if I
> include a compiled DLL with commercial software?  If I embed Python for
> Win32, I have read that I need to dynamically link it.

No - see http://www.python.org/doc/Copyright.html which includes

"The gist of it is that Python is absolutely free, even for commercial use
(including resale). There is no GNU-like "copyleft" restriction."

Hope you have fun trying out Python,
Dave






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