Why would I learn Python over other languages?
acrobert-at-ucalgary-dot-ca at ucalgary.ca
Thu Jul 8 08:10:32 CEST 2004
I was ready to write a long response, but then I realized that all you
probably need to know is speed. As in, how fast can I learn this?
Java will take you months to get good, years if you don't know any other
languages yet. It will take books, large time investments, lots of
busywork as you get comfortable with stuff, and lots of false starts as
you discover new parts of the API. You can be good at Python in weeks.
The Java API dwarfs anything else I know. There are literally thousands
of classes. I know the API well enough to make experienced programmers
go "Woah! I never knew Java could do that!" and I still sometimes find
it easier to write my own stuff than go looking for it in the docs. It's
intimidating to newcomers, and it should be. It's pretty clean, but it's
vast beyond any one person's ability to grasp.
Python can do everything Java can do, but you can eyeball the whole
module list every time you're trying to figure something out. It's
easier to try stuff as you go (interactive interpreter), and a lot of
the busywork and toil has been rolled into language features that make
it trivial. That ultimately makes everything less work and more fun.
To put it in perspective, I learned Java 3 years before Python. It was
my language of choice. It took me two weekends with Python before I was
more productive with it than with Java.
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