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python a bust?

I've sent several messages over the last year asking about python -
Who teaches python? Is python losing steam? etc. I have noticed, eg,
the declinng number of books at my local borders. The last time I
visited a borders (last week), there was 1 (sic) book about python on
the shelve compared to dozens on perl & java! On my last inquiry about
who teaching python, I got two, maybe three, responses. I really want
to see python succeed! It's the best language I've seen. I see a lot
on www.python.org about development, but little on usage. I sent a
message to someone on the python site (I forget who - I know, no
excuse) about what I've done done on a site (grades, web application,
web registration, etc). No reponse. Sorry to ramble, but I wanted to
say a lot, but not have to go into a lot of detail.
Jul 18 '05 #1
57 4207
On 13 Nov 2003 16:10:36 -0800, John Howard wrote:
I have noticed, eg, the declinng number of books at my local borders.
The last time I visited a borders (last week), there was 1 (sic) book
about python on the shelve compared to dozens on perl & java!
What do you conclude from that?

I think the only meaningful conclusions you could draw from the stock
levels at Borders would be related to the purchasers for Borders, and
not to Python programmers.
On my last inquiry about who teaching python, I got two, maybe three,
responses.
What do you conclude from that?

Low response rate could indicate many things, a lot of them unrelated to
the level of teaching resources for Python.
I really want to see python succeed!
Keep using it then. Evangelise it by proving it successful.
It's the best language I've seen.


Glad to hear it. Prove it to others as well, if you want its usage to
increase.

--
\ "When I get real bored, I like to drive downtown and get a |
`\ great parking spot, then sit in my car and count how many |
_o__) people ask me if I'm leaving." -- Steven Wright |
Ben Finney <http://bignose.squidly .org/>
Jul 18 '05 #2
py*******@yahoo .com (John Howard) wrote in message news:<9e******* *************** ****@posting.go ogle.com>...
I've sent several messages over the last year asking about python -
Who teaches python? Is python losing steam? etc. I have noticed, eg,
the declinng number of books at my local borders. The last time I
visited a borders (last week), there was 1 (sic) book about python on
the shelve compared to dozens on perl & java!

If you were developing in Java or Perl maybe you would need dozens of
books. But Python is so elegant and intuitive a single one will do.
;)
Jul 18 '05 #3

"Asun Friere" <af*****@yahoo. co.uk> wrote in message
news:38******** *************** ***@posting.goo gle.com...
py*******@yahoo .com (John Howard) wrote in message

news:<9e******* *************** ****@posting.go ogle.com>...
I've sent several messages over the last year asking about python -
Who teaches python? Is python losing steam? etc. I have noticed, eg,
the declinng number of books at my local borders. The last time I
visited a borders (last week), there was 1 (sic) book about python on
the shelve compared to dozens on perl & java!

If you were developing in Java or Perl maybe you would need dozens of
books. But Python is so elegant and intuitive a single one will do.
;)


It is still not a good sign. If Python is so easy, and it were also
popular, then presumably people would write problem specific books "in
Python." Do your website in Python, your database in Python, your game in
Python, your AI in Python, your laundry in Python...

--
Cheers, www.indiegamedesign.com
Brandon Van Every Seattle, WA

Brandon's Law (after Godwin's Law):
"As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of
a person being called a troll approaches one RAPIDLY."

Jul 18 '05 #4
py*******@yahoo .com (John Howard) wrote in message news:<9e******* *************** ****@posting.go ogle.com>...
I've sent several messages over the last year asking about python -
Who teaches python? Is python losing steam? etc. I have noticed, eg,
the declinng number of books at my local borders. The last time I
visited a borders (last week), there was 1 (sic) book about python on
the shelve compared to dozens on perl & java! On my last inquiry about
who teaching python, I got two, maybe three, responses. I really want
to see python succeed! It's the best language I've seen. I see a lot
on www.python.org about development, but little on usage. I sent a
message to someone on the python site (I forget who - I know, no
excuse) about what I've done done on a site (grades, web application,
web registration, etc). No reponse. Sorry to ramble, but I wanted to
say a lot, but not have to go into a lot of detail.


Python is not backed by Microsoft or Sun, so there are less courses
and books about Python than about C#/Visual C++/Visual Basic or Java;
Perl is not backed, but it was there well before Python, and lots of
people know it and use it (even they do not necessarily love it ;), so
it has a definite historical advantage.

The present situation is clear: but then what? Should we ask Bill Gates to
adopt Python as the next Visual Basic? Or ask Sun to switch to Jython?
Or ask Larry Wall to convert to the Zen of Python?

The only thing we can do in practice is to predicate the verb of Python
to our friends, as we all do it already. Also, we can work on slick new
logos and to a restyling of the Python Website. But this will not raise
the number of Python books in the stores in a couple of weeks or months
or years. It is quite sterile to complain against things we have no real
way to control.
We can only wait and see (as in that old chinese said ...)

Michele Simionato
Jul 18 '05 #5
Brandon J. Van Every wrote:
...
It is still not a good sign. If Python is so easy, and it were also
popular, then presumably people would write problem specific books "in
Python." Do your website in Python, your database in Python, your game in
Python, your AI in Python, your laundry in Python...


Yes, there's quite a few of those -- "Game Programming with Python"
(by Sean Riley) came out last month, "Game Programming With Python,
Lua, and Ruby" (by Tom Gutschmidt) should be out any day now, "Text
Processing in Python" (by David Mertz) has been out for months,
"Python Web Programming" (by Steve Holden) and "Web Programming
in Python) (by George Thiruvathukal, Thomas Christopher, John Shafaee)
even longer, and similarly for other popular "specific areas" such
as XML processing.

Still, book-publishing is an "interestin g" activity -- and stocking
bookstore shelves even more so. A purely anecdotal datum I just
learned about, for example: smack in the heart of downtown Milan there
are two excellent, large bookstores which are always hotly competing.
Somebody was looking for "Python in a Nutshell" at one of them and
complained on an Italian Python list that they had no copies at all
on the shelves; somebody else replied, quite perplexed, that the
_other_ of the two bookstores had _five_ copies on _its_ shelves...

....and unless you get friendly enough with the store's personnel to
chat about such issues, it's gonna be hard to learn whether one store
is cursing and swearing for wasting such shelfspace for a book which just
is not moving, or the other is desperate for more copies of a book it
has run out of...:-)

Personally, I think my (admittedly risible:-) "googling survey" is
a more accurate gauge of a language's popularity than eyeballing the
variety or abundance of titles about it at one or a few bookstores;-)
Alex

Jul 18 '05 #6

"Michele Simionato" <mi**@pitt.ed u> wrote in message

It is quite sterile to complain against things we have no real
way to control.
True... but in most cases we're making an Existential choice about our
willingness to control. We are not in fact helpless. Such is the case with
Python. If you want to actually do something about marketing Python "like
the big boys do," I encourage you to join the marketing-python forum.
http://pythonology.org/mailman/listi...rketing-python

Fair warning: you are going to hear a lot of people talking in circles. You
are only going to get things done if you are the kind of person who will
take a bull by the horns and actually get things done, even / especially
when others are yapping mindlessly and endlessly. Commercial outfits have
significant advantages over volunteer outfits when it comes to marketing:
they can order people to march in a particular direction, pay people lotsa
money to follow the orders, and fire them if they don't comply. Still...
commercial outfits are hardly immune to Dilbertism, but the high tech
landscape is dominated by companies like Microsoft who are not prone to
Dilbertism in their approaches to marketing.
We can only wait and see (as in that old chinese said ...)


Chinese philosophies, at least as received by Westerners looking for
alternatives to their high stress culture, often have the flaw of being too
Yin. The Tao is balance, not passivity.

--
Cheers, www.indiegamedesign.com
Brandon Van Every Seattle, WA

Brandon's Law (after Godwin's Law):
"As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of
a person being called a troll approaches one RAPIDLY."

Jul 18 '05 #7

"Alex Martelli" <al***@aleax.it > wrote in message
news:2u******** ***********@new s2.tin.it...
A purely anecdotal datum I just
learned about, for example: smack in the heart of downtown Milan there
are two excellent, large bookstores which are always hotly competing.


To add to anecdotes, Python is always represented and well-displayed at
Barnes & Noble in downtown Seattle. B&N is a rather mainstream bookstore,
with reasonably well stocked but mainstream tech books. I haven't bothered
to look at how many Python books are actually on the shelf, I just notice
that there's always 1 or 2 in the "look at this" display.

--
Cheers, www.indiegamedesign.com
Brandon Van Every Seattle, WA

Brandon's Law (after Godwin's Law):
"As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of
a person being called a troll approaches one RAPIDLY."

Jul 18 '05 #8
Am Thu, 13 Nov 2003 16:10:36 -0800 schrieb John Howard:
I've sent several messages over the last year asking about python -
Who teaches python? Is python losing steam? etc. I have noticed, eg,
the declinng number of books at my local borders. The last time I
visited a borders (last week), there was 1 (sic) book about python on
the shelve compared to dozens on perl & java! On my last inquiry about
who teaching python, I got two, maybe three, responses. I really want
to see python succeed! It's the best language I've seen. I see a lot
on www.python.org about development, but little on usage. I sent a
message to someone on the python site (I forget who - I know, no
excuse) about what I've done done on a site (grades, web application,
web registration, etc). No reponse. Sorry to ramble, but I wanted to
say a lot, but not have to go into a lot of detail.


Me, too. I like python very much. But most people
who use computers since 1996 use either java, perl, C or bash.

They know their language and don't want to change.

One reason could be: python is too simple. If you write
code that nobody understands (perl) you are a guru.

thomas

Jul 18 '05 #9
In the ideal "techie makes decisions" world this would have
been a good thing. But not in the real world where the Suits
make decisions in corporates.

There might have been thousands of books published in C/C++
language and they have all helped to popularize it in one
or the other way. Contrast, in the python world we have one
Alex Martelli, one Wesley Chun, one David Mertz, really
countable by hand.

There is a limit to how much a single person can evangelize
a language. Questions similar to what the O.P posted arise
from the listeners.

I would prefer to see more books on Python though they all might
be useless from a pure techie point of view. Let us have
a book on Software Projects in python for example. It might not
have the technical superiority of a Martelli book, but more
attempts like that will save the language and help the
eyeball factor, which is so important in practical marketing.

-Anand

af*****@yahoo.c o.uk (Asun Friere) wrote in message news:<38******* *************** ****@posting.go ogle.com>...
py*******@yahoo .com (John Howard) wrote in message news:<9e******* *************** ****@posting.go ogle.com>...
I've sent several messages over the last year asking about python -
Who teaches python? Is python losing steam? etc. I have noticed, eg,
the declinng number of books at my local borders. The last time I
visited a borders (last week), there was 1 (sic) book about python on
the shelve compared to dozens on perl & java!

If you were developing in Java or Perl maybe you would need dozens of
books. But Python is so elegant and intuitive a single one will do.
;)

Jul 18 '05 #10

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