Python is an excellent, user friendly and capable language with the following 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 interpretor 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 interpretor implementation usually isolates programming problems to the defective program line.

An excellent I-Pad application named Pythonista is afforably 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 mobil 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.

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). 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".

Negatives: Python is an interpretor 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 liscense 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.

Python is already installed on your iMac. Do an internet search 'activating python on mac' for details.

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Paul F. Watson

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