Python and Other Languages Python

Scripting languages, as everyone knows, are slower than compiled languages. Python uses its interpreter to manage most of the things you need to worry about when using compiled languages.

The consequence is that you have a productive application in a short period. However, the application doesn't run as fast as a compiled version. Okay; it is slower, but who cares? Nowadays, the development time is a great differential between companies. It doesn't matter whether an application runs slower or faster in Python than in other languages. The fact is that you have saved a considerable amount of time. And by the way, it's not as slow as many people say.

Python incorporates the best of scripting languages (Perl, Tcl, Awk) and systems languages (Java, C,C++). If you work in large projects, the use of Python will give you fast and reliable results.

However, Python doesn't beat other languages all the time. C and C++ are good for performance critical modules of an application because they are system languages that talk almost directly to the processor. For that reason, many programmers create Python extensions using these languages whentime is crucial for the project.

Python Versus C/C++

The following is a list of differences between Python and C/C++:

lPython's array constructs don't have the same number of problems that arrays written in C have. l Most of the memory allocation and reference errors that we easily get when coding C/C++ programs are eliminated as Python performs automatic memory management. lPython checks array references for boundary violations. lIn many cases, developing an application in Python requires much less code than an equivalent application in C.

In general, Python is a great tool to test C/C++ applications. Python adds some contribution to C/C++projects by gluing components and handling interfaces to test them.In addition to C/C++, Python is often compared to Perl, Java, and Tcl.

Python Versus Perl

Python is easier to learn than Perl, and it presents a more readable code. Perl is an excellent languagetoo. Perl is great for work that requires text manipulation and data extraction, and it is also a great language for system administrators. The Windows distribution of Perl is apparently pretty good, so itcan be used productively under Windows. However, Perl is much more productive when used in aUNIX environment. Python's productivity is platform -independent. Another important difference is that Python was designed to be fully object -oriented and Perl had object-orientation implemented later as anadd -on to the language. One problem with Perl is that because "there's more than one way to do it,"different programmers in large projects might know different subsets of the language and will not beable to read each other's code.

Python VersusTcl

Python's syntax is much clearer than Tcl's. Besides, it is the fastest one, and it needs less C extensions than those Tcl requires when doing the same job. Similar to Tcl, Python uses Tk as its standard GUI.Also, Python has more data types than just strings.

Python Versus Smalltalk

The following list shows some differences between Python and Smalltalk:

  • Python has scalability because it can handle small routines and large applications equally well.
  • Python is much easier to learn than Smalltalk.
  • Python enables the use of C and C++ code in programs that require a good performance becauseit is extensible.
  • As most of Smalltalk's users come from the scientific society, the Numeric Python Extension becomes helpful by covering many mathematical aspects and making them easily written in Python.

Python Versus Java

Python offers dynamic typing and a rapid development environment that requires less code and nocompilation phase. Although Python runs slower than Java, it is the more portable one.

JPython

It's a new Python implementation that is 100% written in Java. You can use all the features of Python languages along with the entire universe of Java classes. The integration between JPython and Java isbetter than the integration between Python and C++ because JPython can use Java classes without needing a wrapper generator. Several other reasons why you should consider giving JPython a try areas follows:

  • JPython is interactive, as is CPython.
  • JPython applications can import Java classes directly and, whenever required, integrate Javaclasses with their own JPython classes.
  • JPython compiles directly to Java bytecode, generating Java .class files, which can be used to create applets.By the way, JPython programmers also refer to Non-Java Python as CPython in order to distinguish Python's Java Implementation from Python's C implementation.

Conclusion

Now, just imagine projects that require several layers of application design. Do you think that these projects'leaders have some kind of problem to scale up their applications? If you've been in a situation like that, have you ever thought about using the same language for all your needs? Are you going tohave a programmer coding in JavaScript? (That language doesn't support exception handling.)

Say that you need to create some Java routines, using Servlets, for the back end. What if this programmer doesn't know Java? Are you going to explain Java to him, or are you going to hire a Java programmer?

Nowadays, technology and projects are moving too fast. You don't have time to teach new technologies to the people who are coding your applications. This is one more reason to stick with Python. You havethe flexibility to play in all bases and do almost everything using the same language.

I am sure you are satisfied now that you know the reasons why Python is a fantastic language. What areyou waiting for? I strongly encourage you to use Python now.


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