Question about Python

Jan Danielsson jan.danielsson at gmail.com
Fri Jul 1 15:18:23 CEST 2005


Hello all,

   I recently started using Python, and I must say I like it. Both the
language and libraries available for it.

   Background: I have written an application which I use to keep track
of my personal economy. I wrote it in Java because I wanted to learn the
language for a course in programming at my university. Now that I have
acquired an interrest in Python I was thinking about porting my program
to Python.

   But then it occured to me.. I started writing my program in Java
pre-1.5. Then came 1.5, I upgraded, and my program would still compile
and run, though I did get three warnings. The language had changed a
little bit; I had to assign a type to three arrays. That wasn't so bad.

   However, when I look at the various Python modules/libraries, I see
that there are several versions of them, for different versions of
python. I've seen everything from "for python 1.5" up to "for python
2.4" with all versions in between. This scares me a little bit. I assume
that the reason for the different versions is because of new language
features?

   Is Python showing any signs of "stabilizing"? (Yes, I know there are
pros to an evolving language). Will there ever be a time when a new
major version of python won't mean getting new versions of the modules?


   For my economy program, I used DB2 as a database backend. I can be
reasonable sure that there will always be a DB2 API for Java. However, I
have found a DB2 module for Python, but I don't even know if it works
with Python 2.4, and if I compile and use it, I can't be sure it'll work
with the next python release, as far as I can tell.


I'd like to ask seasoned Python developers:
- Are you comfortable in upgrading to the latest version of Python, or
are you worried about what you have to fix in your existing programs?
- Put aside any unconditional love for Python for a second, and be
honest: Have you ever run into version related problems?
- Have you ever relied on a module, upgraded python version for some new
important feature, but realized that the module you rely on hasn't been
updated yet? If not, do you consider a possibility?
- Do the module developers, in general, keep up with the development
versions of python, so you can expect to find newly updated modules as
new versions of python hits the streets?
- Did you have similar worries to mine when you started working with Python?

   Please be honest.. It's better that I find out any potential problems
now, than rant about them in six months.

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to answer.



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