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#1 Dev1462  Icon User is offline

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What is Python good for exactly(not trolling, just a noob)

Posted 05 December 2010 - 12:39 AM

I have friends telling me its amazing for desktop apps and boosk that tell me its just for server-side stuff and everything online...I'm so confused, What is it good for?!?!?!
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Replies To: What is Python good for exactly(not trolling, just a noob)

#2 moopet  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Python good for exactly(not trolling, just a noob)

Posted 05 December 2010 - 06:54 AM

Almost anything. On my machine, off the top of my head, the package manager and media players are both written in python. My last web project was in python. It can do GUI stuff, console stuff, be used as quick-hack scripts or massive applications. I can't think of much it isn't good for.
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#3 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Python good for exactly(not trolling, just a noob)

Posted 05 December 2010 - 10:11 AM

View Postmoopet, on 05 December 2010 - 07:54 AM, said:

Almost anything. On my machine, off the top of my head, the package manager and media players are both written in python. My last web project was in python. It can do GUI stuff, console stuff, be used as quick-hack scripts or massive applications. I can't think of much it isn't good for.


One thing I wouldn't use it for is something like a Operating System Driver but HLLs aren't made for that anyway. Python is used in much of the things that Google uses and is found all over the Ubuntu operating system.
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#4 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is Python good for exactly(not trolling, just a noob)

Posted 05 December 2010 - 11:28 AM

These guys are right on! Python has so many wonderful features it would be hard to list them all, but here's a few.

  • Python's greatest strength (in my humble opinion) is how rapidly applications can be developed using it. You have an interactive shell built into IDLE which allows you to test out code snippets quickly and easily.

  • It's very high level, so the syntax is both easy and forgiving.

  • It stresses the importance of indentation of your code. This is important because proper indentation makes your code much easier to read, so it strongly suggests that you do things the 'right' way.

  • It is an object oriented language, but doesn't force you to define tons of classes. If you're not sure what this means, don't worry, you'll learn about object oriented programming soon enough.

  • Python is cross platform! It'll work on Linux, Windows, Mac, and most other OS's. I don't know of any major OS's that can't use Python, but that doesn't mean such a thing doesn't exist.

  • Python is free and very available. Many linux distros come with some form of Python preinstalled. Python is free to download and free to develop for.


Alright, I'm done geeking out about how wonderful Python is. To be fair, it does have a few downsides. First of all, you need Python to run Python programs in most situations. This means that if I write a program using Python, you will need to have Python installed on your computer to actually run it*. The other downside is that Python code doesn't run as quickly as compiled code, like C/C++. Realistically, in this day in age with quad-core and hex-core systems, this really isn't a very big problem because computers are so very, very fast. That being said, if run speed is an absolutely critical factor, Python might not be the right language for the job.

To summarize, Python is excellent for rapid cross platform application development. Python is particularly well suited for beginners because of its' high level syntax. No language is perfect, but you will find many professional programmers and software engineers who will gleefully say that 'for the right job' Python is their language of choice.


*Before people flame me, I'm aware of Py2exe, but there isn't a version for Py3k yet.
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