[Israel.pm] Python talk

Omer Zak omerz at actcom.co.il
Mon Dec 6 03:30:19 PST 2004

I am one of those who programmed in Perl and later switched to Python.

It is my feeling that the question why some people prefer Perl and others
prefer Python (or Ruby) is an interesting question, worthy of

Personally, I like the culture around Perl (it's why I am subscribed to
this mailing list and to some other Perl-related mailing lists).  However,
when actually programming, I prefer Python to Perl.

My best guess is that it is because Python has a more intuitive way to
represent nested data structures.  If one wants to represent an array
(list in Pythonesque) of associative array (dict in Pythonesque) elements
whose keys are themselves immutable arrays (tuple in Pythonesque) - it is
very intuitive to represent it in Python.  In Perl one would have to deal
with references and other yukky stuff which I didn't get around to master.

Informal survey among Perl programmers:
1. How frequently do you have the need to represent complicated and nested
   data structures in your routine software development work?
2. If you do have the need for such data structures, do you go on and bite
   the bullet or somehow work around it by other means such as blessing

I don't think it is a social thing but one of personal preference.

On Mon, 6 Dec 2004, Gabor Szabo wrote:

> I am glad as I think the opinion on the list really fit mine.
> Regarding the strong opinions.
> I don't have them regarding Perl or Python or Ruby.
> They are all nice languages with a lot more common than it seems
> from the debates. Technically theyare all very similar.
> I told you I don't have strong opinion here and not much knowledge
> either.
> What is very different IMHO is the state of mind of the programmer.
> There is the camp of the One True Way and the other camp of TMTOWTDI.
> I prefer the world where (I think) I can make my decisions and no
> organization or culture forces its way on me.
> So I'd say it is a social thing.

                                             --- Omer
"Does God exist?" is properly answered by psychological inquiry rather
than by investigation of objective reality.
                             (one of the unsaid sayings of Lazarus Long)
The truth of statements like "Programming language X is the best one"
is properly evaluated by cognitive psychologists rather than by computer
                                           (an unnamed R.A.Heinlein fan)

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