python is great

Joe Strout joe at
Tue Jan 6 18:36:47 CET 2009

I've actually been rather frustrated by Python lately.  It's great at 
some things, but rather poor at others.  In the latter category is 
building a neatly packaged executable that can be shipped to users and 
run reliably on their machine.  On the Mac in particular, if you want 
your app to run on any PowerPC or Intel machine runing 10.4 or later, 
and you're using anything not in the standard framework (such as 
MySQLdb), it's a bit of a nightmare.

Compare this to, say, REALbasic, where you just check "Mac OS X 
Universal" in the Build Settings, click Build, and you're done.  (RB has 
its own issues, of course.)

So I would say that Python as a language is great, and its standard 
framework is great.  But its (many) IDEs are pretty poor, and the 
process of building a polished, packaged app is abysmal.  And there are 
some things (such as Flash-style web applets) that you still can't do at 
all in Python, even after all these years.

But of course, the nice thing about an open-source environment is that, 
with enough motivation, time, and expertise, one can fix the most 
annoying limitations oneself.  And if I stick with Python over the 
upcoming years, I'll certainly do my part.

- Joe

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