Considering migrating to Python from Visual Basic 6 for engineering applications

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 06:32:33 EST 2016


On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:11 PM,  <wrong.address.1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Almost everything points positively for Python. Thanks to all of you who have responded. But please also tell me the disadvantages of Python. If I start using Python, I should be aware of the price I am paying. Speed is not a big problem for me, so an interpreted language is fine. Is packaging/installing very messy? Do I create dozens of files for a simple program calculating the sum of two numbers and product of two numbers in text boxes with one command to be clicked? Can I learn this much in the first couple of hours?
>

There are a few warts, particularly on Windows, as regards packaging
and third-party modules. Anything that's written in pure Python is
fairly easy; stuff that's written in C is sometimes a bit hairy. But
that's a limitation on the "extended library" of PyPI, not the stuff
that comes with Python itself.

Your simple example could easily be a single file. Python tends to
eschew boilerplate; its motto comes from Baloo - look for the bare
necessities of life.

For a first couple of hours, I would recommend working at the console
or in Idle, rather than creating a GUI; a window takes a bit of extra
effort (plus you have choices in how to do that), so just learn the
language first. But you could easily advance to building a GUI within
your first day of learning Python, if that's the direction you want to
go.

The biggest disadvantage of Python is that, in a number of ways, it
surprises people. Significant whitespace bugs a lot of experienced
programmers (and some tools, too), and there are a few other ways that
you may find a team of people revile against it. But if you can deal
with the social aspects, it's a solid language.

ChrisA


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