What is different with Python ?

Robert Kern rkern at ucsd.edu
Sat Jun 11 22:12:03 CEST 2005

Philippe C. Martin wrote:
> I apologize in advance for launching this post but I might get enlightment
> somehow (PS: I am _very_ agnostic ;-).
> - 1) I do not consider my intelligence/education above average
> - 2) I am very pragmatic
> - 3) I usually move forward when I get the gut feeling I am correct
> - 4) Most likely because of 1), I usually do not manage to fully explain 3)
> when it comes true.
> - 5) I have developed for many years (>18) in many different environments,
> languages, and O/S's (including realtime kernels) .
> Yet for the first time I get (most) of my questions answered by a language I
> did not know 1 year ago.

I cannot understand this sentence. What questions? Which language?

Do you mean that, currently, when you need to solve a problem, you 
usually use Python even though you are relatively new to it? And that 
before learning Python you usually used a variety of languages, none 
dominating the others?

> As I do try to understand concepts when I'm able to, I wish to try and find
> out why Python seems different. 

Python is my language of choice because it doesn't get in the way. I 
don't have to contort my problem into strict class heirarchies or 
recursive functions. I don't have to construct the whole system to test 
just a part of it. The interactive prompt has become vital to my 
workflow. By and large, I just Get It Done.

The "one and preferably only one obvious way to do it" principle and 
Python's emphasis on readability means that I gain knowledge and 
capability as I write code. When I need to do a similar task six months 
later, I don't have to spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out 
what the hell I was thinking back then. In the same vein, I can also 
read and learn from others' code much more than I could from, say, Perl.

Robert Kern
rkern at ucsd.edu

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
  Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
   -- Richard Harter

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