Considering migrating to Python from Visual Basic 6 for engineering applications

wrong.address.1 at wrong.address.1 at
Thu Feb 18 10:49:02 EST 2016

On Thursday, 18 February 2016 13:32:58 UTC+2, Chris Angelico  wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:11 PM,  <wrong.address.1 at> 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

Thanks. You have guided me quite well, and I am almost ready to declare that I will use Python for the next few decades.

Imagine I want to read in two (or a few) numbers from a text file, display them in two (or more) text boxes, calculate their sums and products, may be take logarithms of them, and display them in other two text boxes or labels, and make some bar charts, scatter plots, and later draw curves and surfaces on a computer screen. Do I really need PyPi or other external stuff for this? Is Python well equipped for this?

I will have to learn GUI creating quickly after I know the basics of reading and writing text files, and doing simple mathematical calculations.

Later I can imagine using things like sending an SMS from a phone running this on Android, or placing a graph in a WhatsApp message, make a call to someone and tell him the temperature is now too high, etc. These things might need external libraries, but I can learn this later on.

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