[Tutor] Is Python suitable for my project?

Jeremias Galletti jeremiasg@bigfoot.com
Tue, 18 Jul 2000 00:22:34 -0300


I need to develop a new version of the program my dad uses to 
handle the medical data of all his patients. The previous version 
was done using MS Visual Basic 3.0, and it still works quite well. 
The problem is that this application was programmed under 
Windows 3.1 and has never been upgraded.

Now I'm planning to develop a new version from scratch. I like 
Visual Basic because it is easy to program with and you can get 
what you want fast. But with my application I got to the limits of 
this programming environment. I had to use thousands of nasty 
tricks to overcome them, and that resulted in a loss of productivity 
and made the code harder to debug, modify and maintain.

This time I'd like to work with a better language, with no such 
limitations. I have worked with C, Pascal, Basic, Visual Basic, 
FoxPro and I even worked with Assembler during summer 
vacations a couple of years ago (as you can see, I had a lot of time 
in my hands...). I know the basics of C++ object-oriented 
programming, but I have never undertaken a serious project with 
this paradigm. I come from the old structured-programming school...

To use any of the languages I already know for my project would 
require too much time. The application I need to develop doesn't 
need any low-level code, so using Pascal or C would be a waste of 
power. C++ is just a modified version of C. This time I would like to 
try the real object-oriented programming. Python springs to mind, 
and I've been reading the introductory course and so far I like what 
I've seen. I think it is a good compromise between programming 
power and productivity.

However, the Win32 API programming interfase seems rather 
crude. I haven't examined it exhaustively, but I could only find 
Python functions and classes which directly call their API 
counterparts. How is all the Win32 API stuff normally handled? Is 
there such a productive interfase-design environment as the one of 
Visual Basic? Or should I start learning the Win32 API with all its 
hWnd, brushes, and related things? Is there a high-level 
encapsulation of this API available for Python? And what about a 
WYSIWYG design environment?

Is anyone working on a project which runs under Windows? How 
do you people work with the API? Is Python a good option for my 
project? I like its great support groups and all the modules that are 
available to use, but without an easy way to work with all the 
window management code, I guess Python is not a viable option for 
me. Am I right? What do you suggest?

Thanks in advance,

Jerem=EDas Galletti