By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Manage your Cookies Settings.
443,818 Members | 1,282 Online
Bytes IT Community
+ Ask a Question
Need help? Post your question and get tips & solutions from a community of 443,818 IT Pros & Developers. It's quick & easy.

Netscan and Python

P: n/a
According to Netscan,

comp.lang.python was the 19th most popular Usenet newsgroup in 1999
It rose to 8 in 2000
It stayed in 8th place in 2001 (I don't know why that year was flat)
It rose to 6 in 2002
It jumped to 2 in 2003 (comp.lang.c is still almost twice the size
despite the fact that it shrunk in both 2002 and 2003)

It would be crazy to say that this proves that Python is the second most
popular programming language, but does show how astonishingly quickly
Python's popularity has been growing.

According to Netscan, comp.lang.python is the only comp.lang. group in
the top 5 to experience positive growth in 2003.

The drop-offs were as follows:

* c: -17%
* Python +13%
* java.programmer: -35%
* perl.misc: -17%
* javascript: -16%

Rounding out the top 10 we have:
* clarion: +35% (what's going on here??)
* Ruby -4%
* PHP: +70% (comp.lang.php was only created mid-2002)
* clipper: -12%
* Lisp: 0%

I would say:

a) Usenet itself is not very healthy

b) Usenet does not very directly reflect usage patterns

c) Nevertheless, Python's consistent growth across several years does
seem to reflect other indicators.

Paul Prescod


Jul 18 '05 #1
Share this Question
Share on Google+
4 Replies


P: n/a
In article <ma*************************************@python.or g>,
Paul Prescod <pa**@prescod.net> wrote:

According to Netscan,
comp.lang.python was the 19th most popular Usenet newsgroup in 1999


Based on the rest of the post, I'm assuming you meant to say
"comp.lang.*" instead of "Usenet". There's also the question of whether
popularity is best measured by number of posts -- I'm sure the
readership of rec.humor.funny still far outweighs comp.lang.python.
--
Aahz (aa**@pythoncraft.com) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours." --Richard Bach
Jul 18 '05 #2

P: n/a
Paul Prescod <pa**@prescod.net> writes:
According to Netscan, comp.lang.python is the only comp.lang. group in
the top 5 to experience positive growth in 2003.


Coincidentally, I just saw Marc Smith talk about Netscan at ETech:
http://conferences.oreillynet.com/cs...ew/e_sess/4797

The thing he said that caught my attention is that comp.* is slowly
diminishing over the years. He showed a graph that indicated
microsoft.* has just about surpassed comp.*, both in number of posts
and number of authors.

Another random thought - folks often look at the relative lack of
Python books vs. Perl books as a sign of Python's weakness. Isn't it
strength? Python is so simple and the online docs are so good I never
even thought about learning it from a book.

Jul 18 '05 #3

P: n/a
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1
> "Nelson" == Nelson Minar <ne****@monkey.org> writes:

Nelson> Another random thought - folks often look at the relative lack
Nelson> of Python books vs. Perl books as a sign of Python's
Nelson> weakness. Isn't it strength? Python is so simple and the
Nelson> online docs are so good I never even thought about learning it
Nelson> from a book.

I wouldn't think so. The online documentation (mostly the Python
library documentation) is where I go to have most of my Python
questions answered, but that sort of documentation cannot and should
not cover everything. Consider, for instance, David Mertz' book 'Text
Processing in Python' (http://gnosis.cx/TPiP/). It uses several
hundred pages to expand on topics that in the Python library reference
is covered in only a few pages, this because they have very different
aims: the library reference exists to give a brief overview of the
capabilities of each module, and TPiP is a complete topic guide to
text processing.

I've learnt Python almost exclusively from online documentation, too.
However, for in-depth discussions of more advanced topics, I've found
Python in a Nutshell and The Python Cookbook to be invaluable, and
I've definitely gained insight from them that I would not have from
the online documentation. On the other hand, not all books are
worthwhile, and as such I've still not demanded my copy of Andre
Lessa's Python Developer's Handbook back from the friend I lent it to,
since I've found it both less informative and practical than the
library reference, and indeed it seems to be little but a reworded
version of said library reference.

So in short, books are invaluable for digging deeper than most online
documentation does. Of course, it's fortunate that we are blessed with
some of these books being also made available online.

Martin

- --
Homepage: http://www.cs.auc.dk/~factotum/
GPG public key: http://www.cs.auc.dk/~factotum/gpgkey.txt
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using Mailcrypt+GnuPG <http://www.gnupg.org>

iEYEARECAAYFAkAv+c4ACgkQYu1fMmOQldVUhACg1TnmtARmbo ZgPLovH5WBFpJN
oxIAnRKaGU0h0c5DVJsWSp91855UfXPS
=H1CE
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Jul 18 '05 #4

P: n/a
On Wed, 18 Feb 2004 04:07:32 -0800,
Paul Prescod <pa**@prescod.net> wrote:
The recent shift in this newsgroup to newbies with very specific
problems suggests to me that the market is starting to become ready for
specialized Python books (e.g. VB to Python, Perl to Python, Python for
multimedia, Python algoritms for your homework, ...).


Indeed; I think it's been ready for a while. We have introductory books
for programmers and for complete non-programmers, books that are concise
(consider Beazley's Essential Reference, which covers the whole language in
~20 pages) and books that are large. I don't think there's any point in
writing an introductory or a reference book any more; it would be too
difficult to improve upon the existing titles.

--amk
Jul 18 '05 #5

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.