October 10th, 2004, 08:58 PM
I've heard A LOT of good things about Python, but no one has ever told me what exactly Python is... I figured out it's a programming language, but is it for offline applications or online applications? Is the program coding like Perl?
October 10th, 2004, 10:45 PM
Certainly; anything you imagine Perl could do, Python can too. Internet Servers and clients, networking apps, Desktop apps, database interfaces, humble shell scripts etc.. etc..
I don't want to encourage a Perl versus Python debate but Python does not suffer from line noise in the way Perl does. It is easier to learn, read, write and maintain.
Spend a little time with Python, it's worth it
October 11th, 2004, 07:33 AM
From the Python.org "What is Python?" page at http://www.python.org/doc/Summary.html:
Thats a pretty good summary. But from a developers point of view, using Python puts you in a win-win situation. It may lack some of the resources that perl does, for instance [CPAN], but the friendly attitude of the Python community more than makes up for that .
Python is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented
programming language. It is often compared to Tcl, Perl,
Scheme or Java.
Python combines remarkable power with very clear syntax. It
has modules, classes, exceptions, very high level dynamic
data types, and dynamic typing. There are interfaces to many
system calls and libraries, as well as to various windowing
systems (X11, Motif, Tk, Mac, MFC). New built-in modules are
easily written in C or C++. Python is also usable as an
extension language for applications that need a
The Python implementation is portable: it runs on many
brands of UNIX, on Windows, OS/2, Mac, Amiga, and many
other platforms. If your favorite system isn't listed here, it
may still be supported, if there's a C compiler for it. Ask
around on news:comp.lang.python -- or just try compiling
Definatly give Python a go, if only for a little fun.
October 11th, 2004, 10:21 PM
Do you recommend any books on Python?
October 11th, 2004, 10:57 PM
Dive into python (www.diveintopython.org)
October 12th, 2004, 10:40 AM
Maybe Learning Python by O'Reilly publishers, too, although Dive Into Python is the one I used more.
October 12th, 2004, 11:09 AM
It really depends on what you want to do with Python. But I would definatly grab a copy of the "Learning Python" second edition; "Programming Python" also, makes a good read along side this one.
But don't forget that there's a lot of documentation online, so if you don't feel like running straight out and buying one of these books you might want to read though the official Python tutorial:
October 12th, 2004, 03:11 PM
Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner
This is a superb and straightforward introduction. There are code examples for every new subject and command structure. Every chapter ends with you making a neat little game, so it's not quite as dry as many other "Learn It Yourself in Less Time Than Reasonable" books, and certainly less dry than any U course text you may pick up. Each chapter also ends with a short set of Machine Problems [Challenges], which are basically fun homeworks to challenge your understanding of the concepts learned so far and cement the programming mentality.
October 16th, 2004, 12:36 AM
Thanks for all of the suggestions!