Why Python?

Mark Carter cartermark46 at ukmail.com
Mon Mar 1 11:44:59 CET 2004

> What makes it better or worse than languages like 

Python has loads of modules, which are easy to install.

Python has good documentation, with useful examples.

I'm trying to learn Scheme at the moment, to broaden my programming
horizon. I am generally finding it an uphill struggle. Scheme might be
a theoretically better language design, but in Python you can just get
on and do it.

Someone once suggested that the fact that Python had a Benevolent
Dictator For Life is a possible positive on its popularity, and I
think that the suggestion has merit. Effort has been made to make it
accessable to the ordinary programmer.

To give just one example ...

Regular expressions. 

MIT Scheme explains its REXP abstraction: "In addition to providing
standard regular-expression support, MIT Scheme also provides the REXP
abstraction. ". But it doesn't give any examples. And I couldn't find
any by Googling, either.

Now look at Python. Section 4.2.1 (Regular Expression Syntax) kindly
reminds us of the regexp syntax - something that MIT does not. Section
4.2.2 and 4.2.6 then goes on to give us some regexp examples.

Python is popular because it tries to be popular. Scheme seems more
academic, with a more "why would you want a GUI anyway?" type

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