Python intro questions (was: <no subject>)

Skip Montanaro skip at
Tue Jun 22 22:45:58 CEST 2004

(moving over from webmaster mailbox)

    scott> I'm sorry for bothering you, but I've tried to post to the Python
    scott> Tutor Mail List, tried to get someone from Bay PIggies to
    scott> respond, but no one is responding to my questions. If you don't
    scott> want to answer my questions, I'd appreciate an e-mail stating
    scott> that. My questions are as follows:
A better place to post this would be to python-list at (I've cc'd
that list).  Please post followup questions there.  Another place to post
questions is help at  I've never followed the tutor list. has been severely stressed for the past several days though.
I wouldn't be surprised if nobody there has seen you post yet.

Your questions are both fairly common and fairly understandable for people
coming new to Python.  Briefly...

    scott> 1. Is Python being accepted by the programming community? I find
    scott>    more articles about Java and the buzz about Python seems to be
    scott>    non-existant. The Jython most current release was from
    scott>    2001. It makes me think there's not a real need for it. Please
    scott>    correct me if I read this wrong.
Yes.  Java has at least the marketing department of Sun and probably several
other companies behind it.  Money buys column inches in many trade rags.
OTOH, Python is pure open source.  There's no big company marketing
department behind it.  Nobody gets paid to write articles about Python, so
its growth has been somewhat more measured.  The growth isn't due to an
injection of hype though.  Instead, people see how well it helps them do
their programming jobs and stick with it.

    scott> 2. Is there a good tutorial or class? If I am to present this to
    scott>    my boss, some way to make people productive with
    scott>    Python/Jython, preferrably with an Instructor -Led Class, but
    scott>    Computer Based Training is good too (we work out of NJ in
    scott>    Roseland).
Yes, there are people/companies doing Python training.  I suggest you check
the Python web site and Wiki for info:

    scott> 3. Does Python CGI pages come with the same limitations as Perl
    scott>    CGI pages.  From what I heard CGI pages are a bit more clunky
    scott>    than JSP pages. Again, any information regarding that would be
    scott>    appreciated.
CGI is an older technology/protocol than JSP, so it's not surprising that it
has some limitations.  That your CGI scripts are written in Python or Perl
doesn't matter.  CGI forces you to do things certain ways (like forking per
request, so it's tougher to retain state across requests).

    scott> I want to be able to learn a language that can help me in my
    scott> work. Only by having such a tool will I ever learn it
    scott> completely. Any help or guidance towards integrating Python in
    scott> the above environment would be most appreciated.
A lot of people use Python.  I'm fortunate enough to have a job where I was
hired precisely because of my Python expertise, but that wasn't always the
case.  You may have to "subvert" your environment for awhile, sneaking
Python in where you can.  Once people (most importantly your boss) see that
you are more productive with it, they will start paying attention.

Skip Montanaro
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