Why learn Python ??

Derek none at none.com
Mon Jan 12 15:41:59 CET 2004


"Bicho Verde" wrote:
> I have now free time and money to do what I want :-)
>
> I have some basic skills in programming (C, Pascal,
> Macromedia Actionscript) but don't know exactly what to do
> in the world of programming.
>
> And also I don't know exactly why would I learn Python
> rather than C#, C++ or Perl. Basicaly I don't know where
> to start, if there is much to do or if it is has it seems
> and there is software to everything nowadays and so
> doesn't make sense to spend time in learning a programming
> language.
>
> I just have this idea that I would like to contribute
> to the curve of accelarated exponential progress
> (technological singularity), artificial intelligence and so
> on. From that point of view there is much to do... But can
> I stand for it and where to start?
>
> Anyone would help me and give me some hints?

I agree in large part with Paul's comments.

C# is Microsoft's baby though it's technically an open standard -- 
don't go there unless you have a reason.

Perl is pretty cool but I definitely found it harder to use and less
intuitive than Python.

I would not dismiss C++ (or even vanilla C) outright.  I strongly
suggest starting in Python and looking to C and C++ when you have good
reason -- that is, when those languages will let you do something that
Python is less than than stellar at:  large applications, system
software, performance-critical applications, embedded programming,
etc.

I would also add that while Lisp has been a favorite in the AI
community, you will find that most AI techniques generalize to most
any programming language.  I spent a good deal of time in grad school
and on my first job doing AI programming in C++.  The only time I used
Lisp was in introductory classes, mostly to write elegant -- but
toy -- programs.





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