Why is Python Popular?
We dig into all things Python, which Allen thinks is pretty good, and it’s rise in popularity, while Michael and Joe go toe-to-toe over a gripe, ahem, feature.
We realize that you _can_ use your podcast player to read these notes, but if you didn’t know, this episode’s show notes can be found at https://www.codingblocks.net/episode152. Check it out and join the conversation.
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A Brief History of Python. Very Brief.
- Python is a general-purpose high-level programming language, which can be used to develop desktop GUI applications, websites, and apps that run on sophisticated algorithms.
- Coincidentally, this lines up with the early days of Google, where they had a motto of “Python where we can, C++ where we must”.
- In 2009, MIT switched from Scheme to Python, and others in academia followed.
Some Python Benefits, But Only Some
- It’s an easy language for new developers as well as those who don’t consider themselves developers, such as data scientists or hobbyists, but have a need write some code.
- It’s cross platform. As long as we’re talking OS.
- Mobile? Not really, as that space is consumed with Swift, Java, and Objective-C. But with things like Pythonista, you can write and execute Python on mobile.
- In addition to the standard library, there are also many great/popular third party libraries, like NumPy, that are available on PyPi.
The Downsides to Python
- Performance when compared to a natively compiled application because it’s a dynamic, interpreted language.
- Which brings up the late binding type system.
- The lack of mobile and web presence as previously mentioned.
- Legacy issues when dealing with v2, which is still in use.
- Language features that haven’t aged well, such as PEP-8.
- Quirks like
__init__, private functionality, and immutability.
Resources We Like
- The Python Programming Language (Tiobe)
- Heavy usage of Python at Google (Stack Overflow)
- The Incredible Growth of Python (Stack Overflow)
- 2020 Developer Survey, Top Paying Technologies (Stack Overflow)
- What makes Python more popular than Ruby? (Reddit)
- 2020 Developer Survey, Most Loved, Dreaded, and Wanted (Stack Overflow)
- Top 10 Python Packages For Machine Learning (ActiveState.com)
- 56 Groundbreaking Python Open-source Projects – Get Started with Python (data-flair.training)
- Top 10 Python Packages Every Developer Should Learn (ActiveState.com)
- Choosing the right estimator aka the scikit-learn algorithm cheat-sheet (scikit-learn.org)
- Previously discussed as a Tip of the Week during episode 92, Azure Functions and CosmosDB from MS Ignite (/episode92)
- Introduction to Celery (docs.celeryproject.org)
- Is it possible to compile a program written in Python? (Stack Overflow)
- Pythonista 3 – A Full Python IDE for iOS (omz-software.com)
- Previously discussed as a Tip of the Week during episode 88, What is Algorithmic Complexity? (/episode88)
- Flask – Web development, one drop at a time (flask.palletsprojects.com)
- Django – A high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. (DjangoProject.com)
- PyPi – The Python Package Index (PyPI) is a repository of software for the Python programming language. (pypi.org)
- Ten Reasons To Use Python (cuelogic.com)
- Top 10 Reasons Why Python is So Popular With Developers in 2021 (upgrad.com)
- Python – 12. Virtual Environments and Packages (docs.python.org)
- PEP 8 — Style Guide for Python Code (python.org)
- The Gary Gnu Intro With Knock Knock – The Great Space Coaster (YouTube)
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Tip of the Week
- It’s easy to get the last character of a string in Python:
last_char = sample_str[-1]
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