[Tutor] failing to learn python

Kent Johnson kent37 at tds.net
Wed Apr 12 16:23:16 CEST 2006

Payal Rathod wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 11, 2006 at 07:35:15PM +0100, Alan Gauld wrote:
>> Python is a general programmjing language great for bigger jobs.  If 
> But what does Python excel at. That si my main question. Whatevfer I 
> think of I can already do or know a way to do in shell. I am not getting 
> where would I need Python.
> e.g. for parsing log files with regex I rather use egrep than Python.  
> For counting the number of mails received for a user I use awk, where 

It's possible that for the jobs you need to do, you are already using 
the best tools. If you know shell, egrep and awk, they are probably 
better than Python at doing the things they do.

For me, I don't know those specialized tools and I have chosen not to 
learn them because I don't often need their capabilities and Python can 
do what they do. Maybe not as easily to one fluent in both, but I would 
rather learn one tool that is widely useful than several narrow ones 
that I would use rarely.

> can I use Python. Everyone says it is a "general programming language", 
> but what in the world is a "general programming language"?

A programming language that can be used for a wide variety of tasks, 
rather than being specialized to a particular domain. Some things that 
Python can be used for that might be hard with the tools you know:
mailing list manager (Mailman)
spam filter (SpamBayes)
distributed file sharing (BitTorrent)
dynamic web site (Django, TurboGears, etc, etc)
web scraping (urllib, BeautifulSoup)
XML processing (ElementTree, etc)
GUIs (Tkinter, wxPython, etc)

Also take a look at some of the case studies here:

or search sourceforge.net for Python projects.


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