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Why Python?

Brian O'Shea
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 30, 2012
Posts: 39
If someone knows Perl why would you recommed that they should know Python too?
Is the book suitable for beginners to Python?
Allen Downey

Joined: Sep 07, 2012
Posts: 25

Hi Brian,

Think Python is definitely suitable for beginners, or at least that is my goal!

If you already know Perl, you can pick up Python quickly. There will be some things you will miss (for example, working with regular expressions in Python is clumsier), but I think you would find that your Python code is easier to read, debug and maintain. And if you write in an object-oriented style, I think you will be more comfortable in Python.

But I know people can be very attached to their favorite programming languages, so I'll add the disclaimer that this is my opinion only!


All of my books are available from
Ashley Riot

Joined: Nov 16, 2011
Posts: 25
Python is definitely one of the languages having the best design. Anyone can get used to it quickly and you end up writing code as quickly as you type. It just comes so naturally.
Joe Ess

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 9189

Specifically comparing Python to Perl:

While offering choice in coding methodology, the Python philosophy rejects exuberant syntax, such as in Perl, in favor of a sparser, less-cluttered grammar. Python's developers expressly promote a particular "culture" or ideology based on what they want the language to be, favoring language forms they see as "beautiful", "explicit" and "simple". As Alex Martelli put it in his Python Cookbook (2nd ed., p. 230): "To describe something as clever is NOT considered a compliment in the Python culture." Python's philosophy rejects the Perl "there is more than one way to do it" approach to language design in favor of "there should be one—and preferably only one—obvious way to do it".[30]


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