Should I learn Python?

Larry Bates lbates at
Wed Nov 3 17:33:48 CET 2004

I also learned PHP first, but have been very happy that I
moved to Python.  The OOP capabilities are no comparison
(e.g. Python is better IMHO).  It is the richness of the
standard library and add-ons that make Python a good choice.
Things like ReportLab, Python Imaging Library, SMTP, FTP,
URLlib, etc.

One of my recent sites used PHP for front-end UI and Python
for backend database processing.  The combination worked well
for that client.  I still think that if I did it today, I would
do it all in Python, but the combination worked well.  The UI
was not complex so I did it in PHP very quickly.

One very big difference is that I can do more DIFFERENT things
in Python than PHP.  I can write standalone programs with Python
using wxWindows, etc.  I've written COM objects, Windows Services,
plain scripts, programs that manipulate the Windows Registry,
programs that modify the NT user database, you name it.  These
types of programs just don't make sense in PHP.  I find that I
am able to learn one language very well instead of VB for GUI
apps, C/C++ for services/COM objects, PHP for web applications, ...

Python just addresses a wider landscape over more different
platforms for me.

Larry Bates
Syscon, Inc.

Sam wrote:
> Hi, 
> I have been developing sites and cms's for the past few years using
> PHP and mysql. I've been interested in learning a new language and was
> considering Python. I have a pretty decent grasp of OOP concepts (i
> know, you're skeptical since I mentioned PHP). I don't have a formal
> programming background, just learning as I go.
> So, with that being said, here are some dumb questions.
> 1. What can I do with Python that I can't do with php? 
> 2. Do you use both PHP and Python in conjunction with each other?
> 3. In what way could I utilize Python to compliment existing sites or
> apps built with PHP?
> Thanks for any help.

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