September 22, 2006

Python 2.5

A new version of Python (2.5) came out this week... I still have trouble with the importance of whitespace in Python, but there's no denying its continued growth and power. I do worry, as it adopts convenience grammars and features from other languages, that its gets a bit sprawl-y, but thus far, their PEP system keeps things in line.

And Python's got some nifty things going for it (check out
Yahoo's Python center). In particular, I've a new found appreciation for their language evolution model of late.

Most of the time, (
Perl 6 is a good counterpoint) classic CS design philosophy suggests if you're going to make changes, make them once (and complete), so that everyone can get over it and get on board. Enh.

Python's been more incremental - generally they break you just a *little* with each regular-ish rev, though some 5 revisions down the road it might not be so compatible. Basically, they create an incentive for people to stay on the upgrade chain.


Anonymous said...

Python has lots of interesting stuff going on with it these days. It's really picking up steam and I think that's great!

Lately I've been spending a bit of time using Django ( which is an amazing web framework.

Another Python project worth mentioning is Stackless Python ( I think we are on the verge of a paradigm shift that will require languages to have better support for concurrency and this is definitely a step in the right direction for Python.

Sree Kotay said...

Yeah - Python's got a lot going for it these days, though Ruby's still the thought leader (IMHO) and Lua's an interesting "dark horse" in all this. For example, they've had co-routines and "stackless" threading for some time...

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree that Ruby is the thought leader. Once 2.0 hits I think it'll take off. Byte compilation, better GC, native threads, lambda, method combination. Yum!

The only reason I haven't fully embraced Ruby yet is the lack of libraries (I needed a solid Oracle API when I last wanted to give Ruby a try), non-native threading, and poor performance.

But what REALLY interests me is integrating all these wonderful dynamic languages with Java/C#. Jython is a truly wonderful thing. Not sure how far along JRuby is. I think the combination of Java + Jython is very powerful and more folks should consider it in their development. Imagine writing most of your application in Jython with performance critical parts in Java and never needing to worry about how to use Java from Python or Python from Java, it just works (99% of the time anyway). You can write a bunch of Jython libraries and package it up as a JAR file and nobody would know the difference! That's great stuff!

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