New to Python: Features

Josiah Carlson jcarlson at uci.edu
Sat Oct 30 05:28:01 CEST 2004


beliavsky at aol.com wrote:

[snip much of the prior argument]

> My general argument is that Python advocates are attacking a straw man
> when they talk as if the main alternative to a high-level modern
> language like Python is good old C. If they compare Python with C++
> with OOP and STL for general-purpose programming, or with Fortran 95
> for scientific computing, some of the "high-level" advantage of Python
> disappears.

In my opinion, where Python wins is that you get general-purpose
programming /and/ scientific computing with Python.  General programming
is offered out of the box, with various libraries and add-ons to give
you full crypto support, alternate GUI libraries, etc. Scientific
computing is also available via libraries, and has gotten so popular
that there's even a Scientific Python conference.

Python's win as a high level language is clear: we have many of the
tools of the historic 'leaders' via C/C++ extensions, and more are being
ported every day.  It also has a continuously growing community of
developers and users of Python applications, including major industry
leaders like IBM, Nokia, Intel, etc.  They choose Python because it does
the job, as do I, my employer, my academic advisor, and many others here.

 - Josiah




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