Python Newbie

Byron DesertLinux at
Tue Oct 19 17:50:00 CEST 2004

Hi Josh,

Welcome to the Python forums!

I have worked with both PERL and Python over the years.  I first started 
out with PERL and thought it was a wonderful language, but found it to 
be difficult to develop within.  Here are the reasons why I make the 
switch from PERL to Python:

1) Both PERL and Python are powerful languages.  However, Python takes a 
couple of days to learn, where as it took me several months to learn 
PERL.   (PERL is not a very user-friendly language and tends to be very 
similar to C / C++ in style, which are known for being hard for 
beginners to acquire.)  However, on the Python side, there are plenty of 
FREE documentation (and tutorials) that will teach you Python quickly 
and get you up to speed.  One of the best free, online tutorials is:

2) Python code is very easy to read and modify -- PERL is not.  Python 
code has been considered to be a language at the "speed of thought" 
because fairly new programmers can take a piece of code from an advanced 
user, understand what it does, and then make changes to it.  However, 
PERL is very different from this.  PERL comes with 101+ ways of 
accomplishing a simple task -- thus making program modifications very 
difficult to accomplish.  Some people have even said that PERL is a 
"read-only" language -- due to the fact that people have a hard time 
making changes to other people's programs.

3) Python is a FREE, open source programming language that runs on 
multiple platforms.  For example, you can use Python on a Windows-based 
PC, Unix, Linux, Solaris, and even the Macintosh.  In other words, when 
you write a program in Python, you can easily run it on virtually all 
machines out there -- without having to rewrite the code for each 
individual machine.

4) Python has a large collection of free, built-in utilities that allow 
you to work with a large collection of databases, process data from web 
pages, send files though a network connection, download mail from email 
servers, perform data backups, etc.  This is one reason why Python is 
known as a language that comes with "batteries included."

5) Python is object-oriented, which means that you can accomplish as 
much as one can with PERL, yet have the benefits of a language that is 
fast and easily to learn.

6) Python code can be integrated with other programming languages and is 
sometimes referred to as a "glue" language.  It can be integrated with 
Java, C, and others.

7) Many cutting edge companies and organizations are now using Python. 
To learn more, visit:

Hope this helps,


abhay wrote:
> I am confused between learning Python or learning Perl. Please any view,
> opinions and suggestions are welcomed.
> josh

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