[Tutor] Python at my work

bob gailer bgailer at gmail.com
Thu Dec 3 22:52:14 CET 2009

skrabbit at comcast.net wrote:
> My dept at work is reviewing all the different programming languages
> that we use and Python is kind of on the chopping block because I'm
> the only one using it so far. Basically, it would mean that no new
> development would be done in Python.
If most of the developers are Perl experts management might see Perl as 
the best way to continue.

Perl certainly is widely and effectively used.

It is hard to gain acceptance for some other language (or in general 
getting anyone to accept something different).

If there is room for the "bigger picture" then you might investigate 
differences in development and maintenance costs.

Put yourself in management's seat and ask WIIFM? (What's in it for me?) 
People choose things for their own reasons, not yours.

What difficulties are present currently? How might Python address them.

You might consider a programming contest. You and a Perl developer - 
take the same problem, see how long it takes to write the correct code, 
then see how long it takes 2 other programmers to read and understand 
the code.

> Here's some of the reason's I think we should still use Python, and
> maybe I could get some other reasons from you guys. Note: We primarily
> use Perl and Python for web application development, but it also used
> on servers too.
Let's break this down into

-at least meets Perl
 - Object Oriented as needed
 - Large community
 - Multi-platform

- is better than Perl
  - easier to read syntax
   - indentation conveys structure
    - no need for braces
   - no need to prefix names with symbols - this is a HUGE one for me
   - in general - one way to do something
   - no need for parentheses in if statements
   - dictionary and list indexing use identical syntax
    - makes it easy to convert a list to a dictionary
 - better class definitions
  - do not need to be in a separate module
   - simpler constructor:
 - easier to learn and easier to read/maintain
 - functions
  - returning values is always explicit (no witch hunts).
  - no need for local or my statements.

I don't see in Perl generators, comprehensions, generator expressions, 
with statement, threading.
Exception handling seems limited.
I think the <FILE> syntax is ugly.

- Fits in your head - what does that mean?
- Batteries included - what does that mean?
- Large library(Cheese Shop) - does Perl also have this?

Bob Gailer
Chapel Hill NC

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