[Tutor] Is Python a valid business tool?

Lloyd Kvam pythonTutor at venix.com
Wed Jun 23 09:18:24 EDT 2004

On Wed, 2004-06-16 at 18:13, Hamma Scott wrote:
> I hope this is the area where I could post this. If
> this is off topic please forgive me. I've tried
> authors of articles about Python and user groups
> devoted to Python (Bay Piggies to be exact) and have
> gotten no response. I'm looking for direction.
> I'm currently working in a company whose direction is
> pointed towards Java and Websphere. We used Visual
> Basic in the past and have some applications still
> about. We develop software under a windows environment
> to distributed unders the Windows OS. I have seen some
> smaller in-roads towards .NET and some in-roads
> towards Linux, but nothing that will bring Linux
> company-wide.
> My question; Is Python a language that is a good fit
> in this environment or is this something just for me?

I think it is a good fit, but you may have trouble convincing others.  I
think the key argument for Python is productivity everywhere.  Java
covers a language, a runtime environment (JVM), and a platform.  Jython
would allow you to use Java the platform and Java the runtime
environment with a more productive language.  The C implementation of
Python lets you use the Python language outside the Java platform.  It
has terrific COM support if you are using Windows.  Dot-Net is a future,
but based on Jim Hugunin's talk at PyCon, IronPython proves that Python
can work in a .Net environment.  I do not know of any other language
that offers the same kind of cross platform productivity.

> I'm just starting to learn it, but I've been met with
> questions that I cannot answer
> - I have read that Python can be used like Perl CGI
> pages but I've heard that CGI is a resource pig.
> Right? Wrong? 

Sort of right.  The problem with CGI is that it creates a new process
for each web request.  If the process is simple and the number of
requests is not too high, then CGI works well.  I have a number of
python cgi scripts that work quite well for their situation.

> Is there another way to use Python on
> the Web?

Yes.  You have choices depending upon your web server.  You can run a
webserver written in Python and integrate your scripts with the server. 
Zope is one of many possibilities.  You can use mod_python to integrate
python scripts with Apache.  You can use fastCGI to avoid the new
process overhead of regular CGI.

> - How can Python integrate in the above environment?
> Is there a need that it can fill?

As you can tell from the above, I'm a bit of a Python nut.  I believe
that Python should be the default choice for most situations.  Then fall
back to C or Java or whatever would make sense to fit a specific need.

> I would appreciate any response...thanks for your time
> on this matter.
> Scott
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Lloyd Kvam
Venix Corp.
1 Court Street, Suite 378
Lebanon, NH 03766-1358

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