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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Mac OS X 10.13.4 Chrome 67.0.3396.87

    How useful is python compared to other programming languages?

    I always wonder as I am tryign to pick up a new programming language but donno which one i should learn.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Linux Firefox 52.0

    Re: How useful is python compared to other programming languages?

    "How useful" will rather depend on what sort of things you are wanting to do.
    Of course that applies to all programming languages.

    These days there is a huge collection of Python libraries, so there is probably not many things you could not tackle using Python.

    User error. Please replace user and try again

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Linux Firefox 60.0

    Re: How useful is python compared to other programming languages?

    One of Python's main advantages that ocratato mentioned is the number of libraries you can use with it. I just wrote some software in Python for my Raspberry Pi to read a magnetometer and I had at least 2 other options to interface with the sensor in Python. It's a pretty well used language, so you can read the source code for a good number of projects.

    Personal experience has led me to dislike the language compared to other options. Haskell is more my go to, and I could have used it with the Pi, but Haskell is pretty much broken on Arch Linux Arm right now. Python's dynamic typing tends to bite you, but it won't do so until that segment of code is run. In a script you will find the type errors pretty quickly. On a web service you have to test each of the routes to trigger type errors. I still think Python is more strongly typed than C, but it's much better to have the compiler give you type errors at compile time or when the interpreter runs initially as opposed to when it is running.

    Documentation is another problem with Python. There are plenty of tutorials for it, but working through the documentation for a library like sqlalchemy is painful because you not only have to look up the documentation on the object you are looking at, but also what it inherits from to see all the methods available. Haskell gets the library documentation right by not only telling me what types a function takes, but it also gives me a link to documentation for the data type. Even without the documentation I can use Haskell's interactive mode to query what type class instances are available among other things.

    Python is definitely a useful language to learn, especially if all you know is C. With C if you pay attention to error handling, you can get bogged down writing a lot of code. With Python you can get more done with less lines. It shines best at one off tasks in my opinion.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    MT USA
    Windows 7 Firefox 61.0

    Re: How useful is python compared to other programming languages?

    All depends on what you are wanting to do. If raw speed is needed, then Python isn't it. Use a compiled language like C, Assembly, Pascal, etc. I find Python excellent for a lot of things though when raw speed isn't a requirement. There are a few features that I really like. 1) It forces you to write block structured code. With other languages some programmers get 'creative' with code blocks... 3) It is highly readable and 'usually' easy to follow. Don't get me wrong, you can still write unreadable code in Python but you would have to work at it. 3) Easy to use and modify since the source code is the run code. 4) Objects are easy to implement when needed. Above all, it is fun to write Python code!

    At work, it is great for easy to create utilities to manipulate files and reports. Lots of pre-built modules to use. The ftp, sftp, http, https protcols are all easy to use from with in python. There are front end GUIs available to use like TKinter, QT. I find myself doing more stuff in Python now, than any other language I've used over the past 30 years.... I come from the embedded real-time side of the world to where I cut my teeth on Assembly, C, and Pascal.

    Excellent book out there is "Automate the Boring Stuff with Python" .

    Note at work the company is a Windows shop .... We use WinPython for our use on this platform as it includes just about every module that we need/use ... and then some. Portable too.

    As for Top Programming languages as of December 2017 (TIOBE Index) the top five Languages in order were Java, C, C++, Python, C#
    Last edited by rclark; 3rd July 2018 at 11:14 PM.

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