Python is a general purpose object-oriented, high-level interpreted language. Python was originally developed in the early '90s by Guido van Rossum. His original goal was to develop a language that stresses in readability, simplicity and elegance. Python runs on all major hardware platforms and operating systems, so it doesn't constrain your platform choices.
Python offers high productivity for all phases of the software life cycle: analysis, design, prototyping, coding, testing, debugging, tuning, documentation, deployment, and, of course, maintenance. Python is easy to learn, so it is quite suitable to anyone new to programming, yet at the same time it is powerful enough for the sophisticated expert. There are many sophisticated libraries available which make the programming in python even more equipped. The combination of simplicity, power and portability, along with its open-source nature, has made Python extremely popular.
Who uses python?
Python is used extensively for system administration tasks (it is, for example, a vital component of several Linux distributions).It is also used to teach programming to beginners. Here is list of some organization that uses python
- Google has used it to implement many components of its Web crawler and search engine. The most interesting thing is that even the originator of Python, Guido van Rossum, is a Google employee.
- NASA uses Python for several of its software systems, and has adopted it as the standard scripting language for its Integrated Planning System.
- Industrial Light & Magic, Creator of star wars, uses Python in its production of special effects for large-budget feature films.
- Yahoo! uses it (among other things) to manage its discussion groups and Yahoo maps.
- Video sharing site Youtube uses it.
- Disney uses Python for its animation production applications. It has developed a 3D engine “Panda3d” for the development of interactive graphics. Panda3d is developed as the joint venture of Disney and Carnegie Mellon university(CMU)
To learn more about the organization using python, visit the page http://wiki.python.org/moin/OrganizationsUsingPython
Advantage of python
- Python is open source software so, it has huge open source community supporting it.
- Python is available on an incredibly wide range of hardware and software platforms. This includes the usual suspects: Sun, Intel, IBM, Microsoft Windows variants, Macintosh OS variants and all *nix system.
- Python programs require less time to develop than other high-level languages. Because of the elegance and simplicity of the language, Python programs tend to be 3-5 times shorter than their equivalent in Java, and 5-10 times shorter than C++ equivalents.
- Since the python code is highly readable, programs are easier to maintain. So it reduces the maintenance cost which is crucial in software development.
- Python has loosely typed language.
- It exploits the full power of object oriented approach.
- Python programs can be extended using C, C++, or Java. SWIG (Simple Wrapper and Interface Generator) helps to create the wrapper for python.
- The popular web development framework for python such as Zope and Plone , Django, TurboGears make it popular for web development.
What the python users say?
"Python has been an important part of Google since the beginning, and remains so as the system grows and evolves. Today dozens of Google engineers use Python, and we're looking for more people with skills in this language." said Peter Norvig, director of search quality at Google, Inc.
"Python is fast enough for our site and allows us to produce maintainable features in record times, with a minimum of developers," said Cuong Do, Software Architect, YouTube.com.
Industrial Light & Magic
"Python plays a key role in our production pipeline. Without it a project the size of Star Wars: Episode II would have been very difficult to pull off. From crowd rendering to batch processing to compositing, Python binds all things together," said Tommy Burnette, Senior Technical Director, Industrial Light & Magic.
"Python is everywhere at ILM. It's used to extend the capabilities of our applications, as well as providing the glue between them. Every CG image we create has involved Python somewhere in the process," said Philip Peterson, Principal Engineer, Research & Development, Industrial Light & Magic.
Visit http://www.python.org/about/quotes/ to read more quotes from others.
Is Python Suitable for me?
Well, it depends on what you are seeking for. If you are completely new in the field of programming then it’s easy to learn and has good learning curve.
For the rapid development this is the best language. However, for the high end computational and simulation software which involves extremely complex graphics and mathematics, C and C++ may be the better choice. I think quotations from the web/software giants like Google, YouTube and Industrial Light & Magic speak more than thousands of my words.So, you can use to python if you want pleasing coding experience. And its true that python never bites.
NOTE: If you are sure that it’s the programming language for you then get the recent copy of the python from www.python.org . Eclipse IDE with Pydev plug-in will give great coding experience.