Python vs. Perl

Michael McGarry replytogroup at
Sat Dec 11 23:10:04 CET 2004

loritsch at wrote:
> Christopher De Vries wrote:
>>Roy Smith already touched on regular expressions, but as far as
>>features go, I would say that the real difference between python and
>>perl is not in the features, but in the philosophy.
> To help aid in this discussion, the following Python and Perl
> philosophy links might be useful:
> Now, so that I don't start another Python vs. Perl flamewar, I'd like
> to inform everyone that I'm about to make a few generalizations based
> on my experience.  As should be understood implicitly, one man's
> experience is not the experience of everyone...
> As a user of both languages, I've found that what Perl and Python
> programmers have in common is that they were looking for a better tool
> when they stumbled across their language of choice...  After all, one
> can be productive in both languages.
> What I've also noticed that people who use Perl tended to start using
> it as a way to make either C or shell scripting tasks easier (after
> all, this is Perl's original intended audience).  Many of these
> developers have gone on to use Perl for bigger and better things, but
> without a lot of discipline (use strict, and a lot of work with the
> Exporter), Perl doesn't scale very well to large projects.  My belief
> is that Perl's strength (TMTOWTDI) is also it's greatest weakness.
> I've also noticed that Python programmers tend to be a more diverse
> lot.  While Guido originally intended Python to be a second language
> for C/C++ developers, it is also quite useful as a first language.
> Python's philosophy is more that there should a clear understandable
> way to do things, and that readability counts.  That is not to say you
> can't perform tasks in multiple ways, it is just to say that Python
> doesn't believe in TMTOWTDI as Perl does.
> So the bottom line is this.  In choosing Perl or Python, the real
> difference should be your mindset, and what you intend to use it for.
> If you want a multiparadigm programming language that offers wonderful
> OO support, is easy to learn, and in which you will naturally write
> maintainable code, choose Python.
> On the other hand, if you are looking for a language to text-processing
> and to perform short quick shell scripting like tasks, choose Perl.
> While both languages can be used to perform both sets of tasks, my
> belief is that one should pair a language and a task by strengths
> rather than what can be done in each language.
> I hope this helps!
> Michael Loritsch
Thank you all for your input. Please feel free to keep this discussion 

I intend to use a scripting language for GUI development and front end 
code for my simulations in C. I want a language that can support SQL, 
Sockets, File I/O, and shell interaction.

I welcome any opinions on this.

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