Python is an excellent, user friendly and capable language with the following characteristics:
Python Language Review from dionysus.biz
Python Characteristics: Python has all eight of the desirable programming language characteristics discussed previously. While technically an object oriented language, it is very amendable to a functional programming approach. The language includes powerful libraries for auto-scaled graphs, complex math computations, a variety of statistical distribution generators and advanced photo processing libraries etc.. The floating point variable can handle numbers as large as 10 to the 300 power thus eliminating issues with number range in various scientific applications. Creation of a GUI interface using only widely distributed libraries is feasible (i.e. no need for a special purpose library that almost no-body has on their computer.) Mac computers with High Sierra and earlier operating systems come with Python 2.7 already installed. I have not checked the Mojave operating system to see if newer Macs come with Python 2.7 or Python 3; but, the differences between the two are not great. Python is free to download on both PC computers and on Linux machines. Python is the language of choice for Raspberry Pi computers. About the only downside to Python is that it is an interpreter language, and thus execution is slower than a compiled language such as C or Purebasic. For general applications, I find the speed very acceptable, and the interpreter implementation usually isolates programming problems to the defective program line.
- It is available for free for Mac, Windows PC, Linux PC, Raspberry Pi & others. Code written for one machine can be migrated to another machine and/or operating system with little change.
- Commands are fairly intuitive (far easier than Java or C)
- Syntax is generally straight forward.
- Python tends to produce relatively compact & readable code.
- Debug & Error messages are meaningful.
- Python has a wide range of libraries to handle almost any situation.
- Python requires little programming overhead to define variables, structures etc. The rigor of defining classes, instantiating them and all that is thankfully absent in Python.
- Quality IDEs are available at reasonable cost. For Mac, I use either Code-Runner or Komodo. For PC, Thonny is a compact & easy to use editor with some lovely features.
- GUI interfaces are easily built using the PySimpleGUI library
- A large user community supports this language. StackOverflow et. al. will provide answers to most of your questions.
- Recent articles indicate popularity of this language. It really could affect your employability!
I have used Python on coding projects with listings 40 pages long. It does not choke, it just does it's job.
An excellent I-Pad application named Pythonista is affordably available on the Apple Applications Website that will let you program on your I-Pad. When coupled with a small keyboard (mine is Logitech), a very mobile platform that really works and includes the most common Python Libraries becomes reality. Finished programs can be transferred to your Mac using Air Doc Pro (very affordable from Apple Applications store) or Apple's own Wy-Fi transfer program.
Integrated Design Environments for Python:
A simple IDE makes the programming task a lot more pleasant. For Python, there are a number of good choices depending on what computer and operating system you are using.
For Mac, The CodeRunner IDE is very affordable & works well with Python
Python's native form includes a simple and free IDE (Idle) but more advanced IDEs are readily available (e.g. Komodo e.g. PyCharm e.g. others).
For Mac OS: There are a couple of programs I like for creating Python programs. The Komodo IDE from Active State is very good and the cost reflects the quality. Recently, I have been using CodeRunner which is very affordable and stable on my Mac running OS-X High Sierra. Like Komodo, CodeRunner enables creation of programs in many languages, html among them. A convenient RUN button allows active viewing of your program results without the need for upload, additional programs or "fuss".
For PC: I recently bought a windows 10 computer. I downloaded the free Thonny IDE from Tartu University (see https://thonny.org) which is available from a number of software depositories. My download went smoothly and included Python 3 along with several libraries (including statistics). I like the simplicity of this IDE; but it does have a number of interesting debug and variable examination modes. I have not yet used it on any large projects, but my trial runs show it to be a very functional and pleasant to use. It is available for a number of platforms including PC, Mac, Raspberry Pie and Linux.
Python Positives & Negatives:
Negatives: Python is an interpreter language and thus not terribly fast. If this is a concern, programs can be compiled as .exe for PC and equivalent forms for Mac but the appropriate license is needed.
Conclusion: Python is easy to program and available for free. If you own a Mac, it is probably already loaded on your computer. It is a powerful language that can perform well in a wide range of applications. In its native form, it is not terribly fast, but Python code can be compiled into semi executable programs. It comes with a free development interface (IDE), but more pleasant development environments are available at reasonable cost.
For IMAC, Python is already installed on your computer. Do an internet search 'activating python on mac' for details. I suggest either CodeRunner or Thonny as easy to use IDE for Python.
For Windows 10, a free download of Thonny IDE is available which includes Python 3 and the more commonly used libraries. I think you will like the Thonny IDE.
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