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Python's popularity

 
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Hi Albert,

Appreciate your thought process in bringing out a tittle that i intriguing , I have been into java since the days of 1.1 and started observing the outside world of java ever since,quite interestingly,
Python as a predecessor of java in terms of its age was in a kind of hibernation till mid of the last decade , suddenly it picked up momentum and now it is in its full throttle,What is your opening on the popularity of python, what made it to gain so much traction?

Thanks
Meenkashi


 
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I think this is covered in this topic, but I'd say Python's popularity comes from: a simple syntax that makes it easy to learn (and read), a great community, a large amount of third-party modules, an impressive standard library.

I also got started with Python around 2004-ish. Django is responsible for a big chunk of boosting Python's popularity, but I think a language with a simple syntax was destined to take the place of Perl (which is notoriously hard-to-read and has a bit of a learning curve). This is the time when web apps were becoming more and more popular, and things like PHP and Ruby on Rails were getting the spotlight on them. Python was a bit late to that, but the basics of the language's design has helped it stick around for the long-term.
 
meenakshi sundar
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@Al Sweigart

Thanks for your reply,my question is more specifics on the ky differentiator that are the reasons for its ever increasing popularity?do you have any thought on that.

 
Al Sweigart
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Compared to other languages:

Python vs Perl - Perl uses cryptic punctuation marks for much of its syntax, resulting in a steeper learning curve and hard-to-read code.

Python vs PHP - PHP has a large set of built-in functions with inconsistent naming conventions.

Python vs Java - Java requires a lot of boiler plate and mandatory OOP paradigm, even for programs where this doesn't make sense.

Essentially, Python as a language has simplicity on its side, which make sit easier to learn, which means more people learn it.
 
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Al Sweigart wrote:Python vs Perl - Perl uses cryptic punctuation marks for much of its syntax, resulting in a steeper learning curve and hard-to-read code.


Ah Perl -- the write-only language.



 
meenakshi sundar
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Python being a multi-paradigm programming language , object-oriented programming ,structured programming are fully supported, and there are a number of language features which support functional programming and aspect-oriented programming,Which of these are particularly useful or being used extensively in general programming parlance?.

 
Al Sweigart
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I really couldn't say which is mostly being used. Structured and OOP are popular paradigms. (OOP especially with Java's rise in popularity.) Just in my experience, I think JavaScript has made people more comfortable with anonymous functions or passing functions around as first-class objects. I don't have enough experience with aspect-oriented programming to comment on it.

For me, I tend to use basic structured programming for most of my small scripts, since they don't build up to the complexity where OOP is needed. Once I get into lists-of-dictionaries-of-lists though, I'll tend to start writing classes.
 
meenakshi sundar
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Thanks @Al Sweigart , what would you say to some one who wants to switch from different programming background to Python,Where do they need to start ?What are the nuances that they need to pickup to be successful?


 
Al Sweigart
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They could either read my Automate book or Manning's The Quick Python Book by Naomi Cedar. Googling for "Python idioms" and "Python gotchas" is a good way of getting up to speed with the stuff that beginners miss out on.

Dive Into Python seems to be a good guide for people who can program already.
 
meenakshi sundar
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Thanks for your input ,Some of the languages backed by the big corporations have a reputation for being prickly and thorny and programmers spend 5 times as much time reading code as they do writing code, which makes readability a major asset i am sure Python score here over other languages right?
 
Al Sweigart
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Yes. In my opinion, Python is the most readable language I've encountered. Not to start a language war, but I would say it is generally more readable than JavaScript, Java, and Perl.
 
meenakshi sundar
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Yes.automation solutions — Automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities are widely considered to be the future for information technology services companies,
What is your take on that and would Python be a game changer in that area?

.

 
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Al Sweigart wrote:Yes. In my opinion, Python is the most readable language I've encountered. Not to start a language war, but I would say it is generally more readable than JavaScript, Java, and Perl.


In my opinion, Visual Basic is the most readable language. True, it has a "vendor lock-in" (and has its fair share of quirks, but then which language doesn't?) but there are no confusing types such as lists vs tuples vs dictionaries that are different only by virtue of bracket vs paren vs squiggly for their syntax.
 
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And in my opinion, readability mostly rely on developer, and least on language syntax itself.
 
meenakshi sundar
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syntax and semantics are fundamental to any language but when it comes to expressing things so elegantly in most simpler way Python scores.
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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