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Discussion on: Why all this hate about Python?

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Jason Gabler • Edited on

I learned BASIC, then Fortran, then Pascal, then C. Then I took my first programming language classes and also learned the rudiments of Lisp, ML and Prolog. My first job was mostly coding in C, and Perl. Then I learned Java. Heaven had come down to Earth. Strongly typed, elegantly laid out, (fiercely) object oriented. It was software development in a world built by George Orwell! Ah the peace and serenity of a highly structured life with heavy-handed enforcement ... but it was sort of compiled, sort of not. Development was slow on those old Celeron processors. I put up with it for a long time. And then I saw PHP... sigh. Fast, loose, messy. But development was rapid. PHP 5 came and OO took stronger hold and Symfony came out. As long as I was disciplined I could pretend I was coding in Java and deploy to test systems faster than you can type "git push" (or was that "svn commit"?).

Somewhere in that timeline Python came out and every time I looked at it, I wanted to read the philosophy behind it because it looked like such a step backward. It reminded me of Fortran in a number of ways. And when I read the original Python author's ideas of how and why, I was even more put off. So many changes with no good reason except for, essentially, wanting to not follow the course of history. I like following convention because, when shit just works you save money, time and headaches. It's when it doesn't work, or something is proven to work better, you spend the time and money making the jump.

So why do I use Python? I hate coding in it, but there's no denying that compared to any other scripting language (I've encountered) it just works. It connects to devices and networks and databases with the least hassle. Easier than Java and PHP (and of course Perl) in this regard. It's ugly. It's not easy to absorb another's Python work. But It. Just. Works. That's time and money. That means more time for everything else I was supposed to have gotten done yesterday.