Thread: Why is Python getting so popular?

  1. #1
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    Why is Python getting so popular?

    So I was reading a book at Barnes and Noble, and it was a Python book, and it said that Python now has over a million active users. Why is Python getting so popular? It strikes me as if Python is becoming the new Visual Basic (maybe better? Probably!).

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    Lurking whiteflags's Avatar
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    Books always have something like this to say... it seems impressive because it's a large number. Even if it turns out to be a correct statistic, it is easy to put it in its place. 1 million is about 0.3% of the U.S. population. The Bureau of Labor Statistics gives an even smaller number, just 289,420 employed. While this excludes the self-employed, which is a substantial omission, the number of people employed doing python is going to be smaller than that. I mean, I guess I could be fairer, but if you want a sense of how used python is, then look for python jobs...
    Last edited by whiteflags; 03-19-2017 at 02:36 PM.

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    I presume that Python has become popular because of the positive feedback created by several users. Others would say it's fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrance View Post
    Why is Python getting so popular?.
    Because it's a good language, with great expressivity and capability. There are a great many packages available, which extend its capabilities even further. It's also very simple to learn as a beginner.
    What can this strange device be?
    When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
    It's got wires that vibrate and give music
    What can this thing be that I found?

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    From the title itself, I am sure you will get curious, though!

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    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    It makes doing a lot of complex things relatively straight-forward and simple. It's very adequate for the cases where you don't need to customize lower-level details and internals which is a case that's much more common than not.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    For the same reason the Kardashians are popular.

    1. Someone says they are popular.
    2. They show up a lot even when they shouldn't.
    3. Ignoring the total number of people who care about the Kardashians as a percentage of the population.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    You gotta admit though, Python's pretty nice for high-level web developers and non-computer science scientists. Physicists really enjoy it and I think it might be easier to mess around in Python than to try and get Apache configured :P

    But maybe that's because I just suck at Apache lol XD

  9. #9
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    Just got through 150 pages of a Python book, by Mark Lutz. Everything said about it above is right, easy to learn, oop, less lines of code than same type of program written in c/c++, lots of built in library support, and has made people into billionaires, the last being the most likely reason! (Python was the primary language to code YouTube and Dropbox). Also, with built in numpy support, it's almost like a faster free version of matlab.
    Last edited by Terrance; 03-21-2017 at 09:31 PM.

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    I like Python a lot. If c programming is mining the rock face with a pickaxe, programming in Python is more like sitting in the manager's office with the feet up, with a fag in one hand and a glass of something spicy in the other.

    Highlights are:

    1) You can get some experience of and conceptual understanding of the major programming paradigms - imperative, functional, object-oriented

    2) If you are into math programming, Python's long type means, for example, calculating values like 2500! (factorial) out of the box, is a breeze.

    3) It's simple and streamlined.

    4) Loads of useful built-in functions.

    5) There are also tons of modules and packages for just about everything. The one I was working on today was pyinstaller which creates exe files from python scripts so a Python interpreter doesn't need to be present on a system to run a Python program.

  11. #11
    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
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    It depends where it is popular: For example, I don't see it popular among the "enterprisey" stuff where Java (this century's COBOL) still rules.
    For scientists, statisticians, automation, sports programming, hackathons are some examples where it does seem to be one of the popular choices. Sure, it forcing you to use whitespace for indentation is kind of a concern for some but it does seem to be a lot more readable. I liked it personally when I first learned and even more after watching some Youtube videos from David Beazley (particularly the one where he reinvents linux tools on an old windows machine which had nothing but python installed).

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    Make Fortran great again Epy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrance View Post
    Also, with built in numpy support, it's almost like a faster free version of matlab.
    MATLAB is many times faster than the default Python dist. PyPy etc. would probably be comparable, since both MATLAB and PyPy are JIT. (also JIT) Julia is apparently the faster free version of MATLAB, but I've always shied away from it because every time I test it out, it fails.

    ----

    Agree that Java is this century's COBOL...

    ----

    Python is popular because it basically has everything you need OOTB. And it's multi-paradigm. And it's plenty fast compared to compiled languages except for I/O-intensive applications. Even so, there are so many projects to either make it AOT or JIT, making it way faster. It's biggest drawback is the whole version 2 vs 3 thing. Version 2 is finally reaching EOF (ha-ha), and a ton of stuff is written for 2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    MATLAB is many times faster than the default Python dist. PyPy etc. would probably be comparable, since both MATLAB and PyPy are JIT. (also JIT) Julia is apparently the faster free version of MATLAB, but I've always shied away from it because every time I test it out, it fails.

    ----

    Agree that Java is this century's COBOL...

    ----

    Python is popular because it basically has everything you need OOTB. And it's multi-paradigm. And it's plenty fast compared to compiled languages except for I/O-intensive applications. Even so, there are so many projects to either make it AOT or JIT, making it way faster. It's biggest drawback is the whole version 2 vs 3 thing. Version 2 is finally reaching EOF (ha-ha), and a ton of stuff is written for 2.
    I never heard of The Julia Language.

    Are you trying it on Windows? Because I have had issues with LLVM-based programs under Windows.

    For MATLAB alternatives, I think of SciLab and Octave. Never used either enough to decide if they are any good.

    Tim S.
    "...a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are,in short, a perfect match.." Bill Bryson

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    Make Fortran great again Epy's Avatar
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    I've been trying it in-browser. Octave is getting better everyday, but is nowhere near as fast as MATLAB. Interpreted vs. JIT speeds.

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    It can be run with anything, even with an android. It has open source and can be modified. It's easy to learn and surprise your friends with cool programs!

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