Scripting (was Re: Python books, literature etc)

Peter vmail at mycircuit.org
Fri Jan 8 20:27:16 CET 2010


> Sounds good.
>
> Regarding the book's title: is it just me, or are Python programmers
> in general put off when people call it "scripting"?
>
> I won't attempt a strict definition of the term "scripting language",
> but it seems like non-programmers use it to mean "less scary than what
> you might think of as programming", while programmers interpret it as
> "not useful as a general-purpose language".
>
>    
It took me a while to take "scripting" seriously. I grew up with Pascal 
and Eiffel and I found it difficult to appreciate dynamic typing and 
scripting. The author Langtangen is explaining in detail why he 
considers scripting useful, in particular he provides an automatic test 
suite to run different language versions ( perl, python, c, c++) of the 
same program to compare performance. The results are amazing, in that 
some of the examples run faster than the C++ version.

I find Python extremly useful as a general purpose language ( its 
clearly now my prefered one ) and I find it equally useful to develop 
toy apps in C++, Haskell and Lisp, just to better appreciate the idea of 
"general purpose".
For me, it has turned out that the point is not "scripting versus not 
scripting" or "static versus dynamic typing" but having automatic 
unittests or not having automatic unittests. My most important module is 
"nose" for running unittests the easy way.

Peter




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