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Where is Python in the scheme of things?

As a complete novice in the study of Python, I am asking myself where this
language is superior or better suited than others. For example, all I see in
the tutorials are lots of examples of list processing, arithmetic
calculations - all in a DOS-like environment.

What is particularly disappointing is the absence of a Windows IDE,
components and an event driven paradigm. How does Python stand relative to
the big 3, namely Visual C++, Visual Basic and Delphi? I realize that these
programming packages are quite expensive now while Python is free (at least
for the package I am using - ActivePython).

Please discuss where Python shines.
Gord
Oct 4 '06 #1
23 2399
gord wrote:
What is particularly disappointing is the absence of a Windows IDE,
components and an event driven paradigm. How does Python stand relative to
the big 3, namely Visual C++, Visual Basic and Delphi?
if you think those are the "big 3", you should perhaps start by asking
yourself where *you* are in the scheme of things.

</F>

Oct 4 '06 #2
gord wrote:
As a complete novice in the study of Python, I am asking myself where this
language is superior or better suited than others. For example, all I see in
the tutorials are lots of examples of list processing, arithmetic
calculations - all in a DOS-like environment.

What is particularly disappointing is the absence of a Windows IDE
I'm a complete windows novice (as in I've forced myself to forget my
experiences with it), but does windows not run vim?

--
James Stroud
UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics and Proteomics
Box 951570
Los Angeles, CA 90095

http://www.jamesstroud.com/
Oct 4 '06 #3

gord wrote:
As a complete novice in the study of Python, I am asking myself where this
language is superior or better suited than others. For example, all I see in
the tutorials are lots of examples of list processing, arithmetic
calculations - all in a DOS-like environment.

What is particularly disappointing is the absence of a Windows IDE,
components and an event driven paradigm. How does Python stand relative to
the big 3, namely Visual C++, Visual Basic and Delphi? I realize that these
programming packages are quite expensive now while Python is free (at least
for the package I am using - ActivePython).

Please discuss where Python shines.
Gord
Python is of course superior to all three,
Put together,
With knobs on.

:-)

Oct 4 '06 #4
hg
gord wrote:
As a complete novice in the study of Python, I am asking myself where this
language is superior or better suited than others. For example, all I see in
the tutorials are lots of examples of list processing, arithmetic
calculations - all in a DOS-like environment.

What is particularly disappointing is the absence of a Windows IDE,
components and an event driven paradigm. How does Python stand relative to
the big 3, namely Visual C++, Visual Basic and Delphi? I realize that these
programming packages are quite expensive now while Python is free (at least
for the package I am using - ActivePython).

Please discuss where Python shines.
Gord

Big three? ... not sure even Bill agrees with you.

Code in Python and decide for yourself ... but again, nowadays, you're
to compare with C#, VB ... if you want to be in; that is.

hg

Oct 4 '06 #5
hg
hg wrote:
gord wrote:
>As a complete novice in the study of Python, I am asking myself where this
language is superior or better suited than others. For example, all I see in
the tutorials are lots of examples of list processing, arithmetic
calculations - all in a DOS-like environment.

What is particularly disappointing is the absence of a Windows IDE,
components and an event driven paradigm. How does Python stand relative to
the big 3, namely Visual C++, Visual Basic and Delphi? I realize that these
programming packages are quite expensive now while Python is free (at least
for the package I am using - ActivePython).

Please discuss where Python shines.
Gord

Big three? ... not sure even Bill agrees with you.

Code in Python and decide for yourself ... but again, nowadays, you're
to compare with C#, VB ... if you want to be in; that is.

hg
OK, you did say VB
Oct 4 '06 #6
Not sure if this is a troll...I've seen several of these sorts of
posts on the list. But it seems innocent enough, so I'll bite. :)

I'm not sure Delphi is really one of the "big 3"...surprising ly
Java and C# don't make your list.
What is particularly disappointing is the absence of a Windows
IDE, components and an event driven paradigm.
I've not tried any of the gui-builders that are out there.
However, I understand that several exist. I'm just a contented
vim junkie.

As for the event-driven paradigm, you might want to investigate
both the standard tkinter package, or the commonly used wxpython
package (recently praised/reviewed/talked-up on Ron Stephen's
Python411 podcast). Both have a main-loop processing method that
gets called, and then feeds messages to your various objects via
method-calls.
How does Python stand relative to the big 3, namely Visual
C++, Visual Basic and Delphi?
Visual C++ minuses compared to Python
-------------------------------------
Half a bajillion lines of code to do the most simple of things.
Ability to shoot yourself in the foot with errant pointers.
Limited standard libraries (without chaining yourself to one
particular platform in general). Windows only for the most part
(okay, other C++ compilers exist, but you explicitly mention
VC++). Minimal ability to interactively inspect/effect your
program. Requires a compile/link phase. Code is usually hard to
read. Macros and templates make for a headache (or worse). Two
files each for most productive stuff (your header & source) if
not more (your .o object file, your .lib output file, your .idl
interface file, your workspace file, your makefile, etc).

Delphi compared to Python
-------------------------
Delphi is nice. It still takes more code to do a given task than
it does in Python. It's very B&D (none of this sissy
"pseudo-type-checked" syntax of C/C++/Java where int-types are
really just ints with Groucho-glasses...types are types in
Delphi!), which can be good or bad according to your tastes.
Still requires a compile/link phase, but not as long as C/C++
does. Somewhat more portable than VC++, as there's Kylix for
Linux, but still not as universally available as Python. I can't
malign it too badly as I have a soft spot in my heart for
object-pascal.

Visual Basic compared to Python
-------------------------------
VB shares some interesting aspects with Python...namely it's much
more readable than the other two. It's syntax is clunky at best,
with goto's, and cobbled-on exception handling (at least in
VB-Classic, as opposed to VB.Net with which I have no experience,
thank goodness). It's good for hammering together a quick form
and dropping some code behind it. However, it's not exactly
portable to other platforms (though there is the Gambas project
that offers VB-ish development on *nix platforms). It's not
terribly object-oriented, so doing OO-related stuff is next to
impossible. Functions aren't first-class objects, so you have to
do some funky workarounds.

I might be exaggerating regarding C++ and the half-a-bajillion
lines...it may only be something like a quarter-of-a-bajillion lines.
I realize that these programming packages are quite expensive
now while Python is free (at least for the package I am using
- ActivePython).
I had heard that VC++ and VB had free standalone stripped-down
versions available for download. And Borland had a beginners'
edition of Delphi available for free download at one point as
well. All hearsay until proven otherwise, but that was my feable
understanding.

But I'm also gonna have to agree with Paddy, about the "better
than all three". And the "knobs" bit.

My $0.02 ramble...

-tkc



Oct 4 '06 #7


On Oct 4, 4:21 pm, "gord" <gord@no_spamin g.comwrote:
As a complete novice in the study of Python, I am asking myself where this
language is superior or better suited than others. For example, all I see in
the tutorials are lots of examples of list processing, arithmetic
calculations - all in a DOS-like environment.

What is particularly disappointing is the absence of a Windows IDE,
components and an event driven paradigm. How does Python stand relative to
the big 3, namely Visual C++, Visual Basic and Delphi? I realize that these
programming packages are quite expensive now while Python is free (at least
for the package I am using - ActivePython).

Please discuss where Python shines.
Gord
Delphi, one of the big 3? Since Borland abandoned it, it can only go
downward (How do you call delphi 8, 2005 and 2006, if not *downwards*?)
Java is much more of a big 3 than Delphi.

Use Python for a little while (let's say 1000 lines of code), and if
you're not convinced after that, go back to the big 3, happily telling
yourself you're not missing anything...

"What's with this weird python community anyway, speaking of code
'elegance' and 'readability'? There is no such thing!"

Oct 4 '06 #8
On Wed, 4 Oct 2006 16:21:21 -0400
"gord" <gord@no_spamin g.comwrote:
[...] all in a DOS-like environment.
Python is an extremely multi-purpose language that is not dependant on GUIs or similiar riff-raff. It can be run in DOS or DOS-like systems, but that is your choice, not python's. Python has a traditional connection to the *nix (UNIX-like) family of operating systems, where the command like is a lot more powerful and used than in modern incarnations of DOS, such as Windows NT 5.1, nicknamed "windows xp".
What is particularly disappointing is the absence of a Windows IDE,
There are multiple. I personally chose to use the editor vim and the command line, but that is a personal choice. See <http://wiki.python.org/moin/IntegratedDevel opmentEnvironme nts>.
components and an event driven paradigm.
I am not sure what you mean with "components ". Since everything in python, even types and functions, is an object, events can be implemented cleanly and easily where they are due, such as in GUI toolkits.
How does Python stand relative to the big 3, namely Visual C++, Visual Basic and Delphi?
No additional comment on "big 3". Visual C++ is just an IDE for the language C++, which has, like python, roots in the UNIX and command-line world. VB and Delphi are IDEs for extended versions of the languages BASIC and PASCAL, respectively. See the link above for IDEs for the language Python.
I realize that these programming packages are quite expensive now while Python is free
(at least for the package I am using - ActivePython).
Price and quality are not directly related; in this example I must say that some of the better (supposedly, I have not tried them) python IDEs are actually commercially distributed proprietary software. Also note that python is not only available free of charge, but also so-called "free software" (libre software... related to open source, which it also is), see the free software definition at <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.htmlfor a description of that matter.
Please discuss where Python shines.
Python shines nearly everywhere where speed and resource usage is not a killer factor. Writing and reading, this maintaining, software written in python is very easy. Python also lends itself very well to writing portable software. Being a (to the outside) interpreted language, the compilation step falls out, speeding up the development process somewhat.
I find the python language a lot clearer than (Visual) Basic, and programs are definately shorter. C/C++ aren't geared towards programmer-friendliness, so they are a completely different category. I know too little about Pascal (Delphi)
Python can be used in many areas, from small maitainence scripts on servers over web applications to fully-blows graphical apps. For graphical applications, there are multiple choices, one (Tkinter) being distributed with standard python (which does not act natively on any platform.) PyGTK has an excellent GUI designer, glade, and acts 100% natively on many UNIX/Linux systems, about 90% natively on windows systems, and doesn't, yet (AFAIK), integrate well with Mac OSX. WxPython acts natively everywhere, but is, as I have heard, not as "pythonic" as other frameworks. pyGUI looks promising.

Reinforcement: Remember that python is a language, not a development environment. It shines as a language, and can be put into a friendly case if the programmer choses that.

--
Thomas Jollans
Oct 4 '06 #9
In article <HY************ *****@newssvr13 .news.prodigy.c om>,
James Stroud <js*****@mbi.uc la.eduwrote:
Oct 4 '06 #10

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