python a bust?

Brandon J. Van Every try_vanevery_at_mycompanyname at
Sat Nov 15 02:59:16 CET 2003

Steve Lamb wrote:
>     Now that we've presented anecdotal evidence both both sides care
> to share why you think that your way of thinking is the predominant
> one; IE more books on the shelf means you're going to buy more books
> on that topic?

Steve, an important question is what programmer demographic you represent,
vs. how many demographics can be sold to.  I, for instance, will never buy a
big-picture big-print tech manual, I don't care what subject it's on.  In
fact, as years have progressed I'm unlikely to buy any books at all.  When I
did so in the past, my tastes tended towards the exceedingly dense, dry, and
academic.  I'm fully aware, however, that "Learn C++ in 21 days" and "C++
for Dummies" do sell copies to somebody.  Somebody with different needs and
a different brain than my own.

As for total volume of books, I seriously doubt that you can sell more
Python books simply by having more of such books available.  You have to
look at the strategic realities: according to one survey I saw recently,
Java is being used by 53% of people on projects, C# is 25%, Python is 8%.
All surveys I've ever seen about language use have roughly the same orders
of magnitude, and most are much less generous to Python than 8%.
Truthfully, people will not buy more Python books until Python is used more

That's where real marketing efforts "like the big boys" come in.  The Python
community can either grow the market for the language, or it can atrophize
and be regarded as a has-been 5 years from now.

Brandon Van Every                Seattle, WA

Brandon's Law (after Godwin's Law):
"As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of
a person being called a troll approaches one RAPIDLY."

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