Python rocks

Mark Carter me at
Sat Jun 2 19:50:17 CEST 2007

Steve Howell wrote:
> --- Mark Carter <me at> wrote:
>> Well, I know I'm preaching to the converted - but
>> Python rocks.
>> [...]
> A few questions from the choir:
> As a recent newcomer to the language, did you
> encounter any traps or pitfalls while you were
> learning?  Also, could you single out anything in
> particular about Python that started making you more
> productive, or was it just the overall design?

Well, I've been around the block a few times with Python, and had 
decided to try a couple of other languages. Having poked around, I've 
come to the conclusion that Python is the best language out there, and 
thought I'd share my observation with everyone. I hadn't posted to Lisp, 
because that'd be, like, considered trollish.

Python's biggest win is probably its "batteries included" philosophy. 
Plus its extensive documentation. IDLE is simple, but it gets the job 
done. The syntax is obvious enough, so there's not much to dislike about 

Not that I'm particularly knowledgeable about language design issues, 
but maybe closures and slightly different scoping rules would be nice. A 
pitfall of Python is knowing whether an operation is destructive or not. 
I guess if it was a purely functional language, that particular question 
wouldn't arise. Not that I'm saying I want Python to be a purely 
functional language. Oh, and when I read a line, I'd like it to get rid 
of the trailing line-ending characters.

Python is accreting  a lot of language features, and I'm not sure that's 
a good idea. Still, I guess if I don't like them, I don't have to use them.

The thing about Lisp I found is that it's horribly fragmented, and 
doesn't do what I want it to do out of the box. Lisp is just too 
tedious. Python Just Works. I checked out Ruby a couple of years ago, 
but couldn't find anything to be worth the switch. I'm amazed at some of 
the things people have been able to do in Forth; but then, it doesn't 
beat Python's truckload of libraries and stuff like dictionaries, lists 
and other goodies that I get out of the box.

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