Should I learn Python?

Eddie Parker eddie at
Tue Nov 16 19:26:22 CET 2004

I disagree. That's completely subjective. To swing the "Force" back to
neutrality, I'll add my own subjectivity. 

I find PHP useful for what it does. Properly structured code is just as
maintainable as Python code, particularly with PHP 5 being more
object-oriented (or so I hear).

I think of PHP as more of a "specifically engineered to the web" language
(just odd that it doesn't support UTF easily, however, it's a good web
language, 'on the cheap'). 

Python does admirably, particularly boasting it's own BaseHTTPServer, in
case you don't want to rely on mod_python and the like.

I haven't benchmarked the two, so I can't speak about performance, but I
generally prefer PHP for web scripting, and Python for client side coding.
That said, I agree that it's subjective.

Probably the only thing I could say about why you should use Python over
PHP, definitively, is the Unicode support. 

Other good reasons, however, include robust object support, a fully featured
"Batteries Included" approach -- you can get everything you need done with
Python (much like PHP, but MUCH wealthier), and a good community.

Pro's for PHP, however? I *love* their documentation site. The ability to go
to'mSearchingFor is icing on the cake, but the static
pages, with user commentary at the bottom are excellent (I was glad to see
that PostGreSQL opted to do similar, too), and, pardon the frankness, much
nicer looking then Python's. 

But I think both languages are pretty equal in terms of ability to do
things, and I don't find I'm lacking in either. Minor discrepancies at best
-- but then again, I wouldn't say I have high demands on either system, at
this point.

</subjective> :)



-----Original Message-----
From: at
[ at] On Behalf Of
Sent: November 16, 2004 11:00 AM
To: python-list at
Subject: Re: Should I learn Python?

sam at (Sam) wrote in message
news:<624a388a.0411030512.3cf84547 at>...
> So you're saying, in order to write smart, clean, well structured,
> readable code, and have fun doing so, I'm going to have to drop PHP
> and use Python?
> I'm not really interested in finding a replacement for PHP, it works
> just fine for me.
> I apologize for not phrasing my questions clearly, I wasn't looking
> for critisisms of PHP or why I shouldn't use it. What i'm really
> after, is given that I use PHP to develop sites currently, what types
> of situations would/could i use Python in web development? Is there a
> point when learning Python, that I'll say to myself "why use php?".
> Thanks

learn python and you will answer your own question, php is just about
1 rung above perl in maintainability

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