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  1. #1
    andrew93
    Guest

    Default Has anyone actually used Python? Or an alternative to Python?

    I am looking for some free software to get back into some pretty simple programming - I have used Cobol, Basic & Pascal many eons ago but have done only done MS Access programming (if thats what you can call it) since. I want to get back into a third generation language for solving some math problems without facing constraints as you do in Excel spreadsheets (limit is <100k records) and databases (where the performance goes seriously downhill one you get over about 1.5m records).

    In forums such as this I frequently see the software "Python" recommended but the authors recommending it have usually not used it.

    Has any one actully used Python? If so, what has your experience been? Is it easy to pick up? Are there useful online manuals? (I can't say much for the online help I have seen for software such as iBasic and the latest Pascal plus the Python online help wasn't looking promising).

    If Python isn't recommended then what free programming software would you recommend?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Mrs Bump
    Guest

    Default Re: Has anyone actually used Python? Or an alternative to Python?

    Bump






    It is an ex-parrot

    It has ceased to be.

  3. #3
    Graham L
    Guest

    Default Re: Has anyone actually used Python? Or an alternative to Python?

    I still use Pascal. I say it's still the best. You used to be able to download a reasonable version (v4 or 5) free from Borland. It beats any interpreter such as Python or Basic (blechhh).

    The Help gives sample code for all the procedures and functions in the Units.


  4. #4
    Graham L
    Guest

    Default Re: Has anyone actually used Python? Or an alternative to Python?

    PS. "free turbo pascal" to Google will point you to the Borland community site, offering TP 5.5, C2.1, ... free. Even Turbo Pascal 3 (which I've still got the 5" floppy and manual for), and TP 1.0 .

  5. #5
    andrew93
    Guest

    Default Re: Has anyone actually used Python? Or an alternative to Python?

    Hi Graham

    Thanks for your reply. I agree that Pascal is very easy to use and very hard to move away from.

    Before I put my post up I had downloaded DEV-PASCAL but the tutorial would crash with compilation errors if I saved my project into a directory that contained a space in the name (e.g. "My Documents") - how f***** is that??? As for the help saying "it should have no compilation errors", which it clearly did and then gave no options on what to do if it did have errors! Aaaarrrggghhhh! These developers must be ex-MS!

    Have now downloaded TP5.5 from Borland as suggested and will give it a whirl.

    Cheers

  6. #6
    timo
    Guest

    Default Re: Has anyone actually used Python? Or an alternative to Python?

    yes, I have just finished a 4th year uni project on Python.
    I'll be the first to jump at the chance to recommend it. Very simple to learn, very powerful.
    Something you might struggle with is dynamic type checking. ie, it doesn't pick up lots of errors at compile time, it picks them up a run time.
    This is pretty much complete opposite to how c, pascal, java etc work.
    also, some nice facts:
    python supports OO
    python is white space sensitive (ie no brackets, braces, begins or ends. you indent instead)
    python can be embedded into delphi apps (and others i think) to give a nice gui on top.

    i've used delphi (pascal) a lot and i think that is a nice language too.

  7. #7
    timo
    Guest

    Default Re: Has anyone actually used Python? Or an alternative to Python?

    i was just re-reading and thought i'd put in some extra...

    check out www.python.org, it has tutorials, and heaps of other documentation.
    there is an "ide" (it's not the flashest but it's ok) called "idle" that has sytax highlighting etc.


  8. #8
    Kenshin
    Guest

    Default Re: Has anyone actually used Python? Or an alternative to Python?

    wow cool, timo which Uni u study in and what are u studying??

    I just did a third year software project using python, it involved writing a program and a graphical user interface to control and maintain as well as use a cluster of computers.

    Totally enjoyed it, python is definitely as u said easy to learn ... bad thing however, it makes a programmer very lazy!! No semi colons, no initialising variables, no declaring functions ..etc etc...

  9. #9
    timo
    Guest

    Default Re: Has anyone actually used Python? Or an alternative to Python?

    I'm studying for a bachelor of engineering majoring in software engineering. at massey, Palm North.

    sounds like a cool project you did, ours was a little more "academic". it was "the suitability of Python as a target language for object-z specifications".

    i disagree with you.... it doesn't necessarily make the programmer lazy. you still have to be very careful about how you use your variables etc. i think "gives the programmer freedom" is better than "makes the programmer lazy"
    it just leaves out all the visual clutter associated with many other languages.
    i've used plenty of languages now (prolog, haskell, c, java, delphi, lisp, python and more) and would have to say Python is by far the most enjoyable to code in.


  10. #10
    andrew93
    Guest

    Default Re: Has anyone actually used Python? Or an alternative to Python?

    > check out www.python.org, it has tutorials, and heaps
    > of other documentation.
    > there is an "ide" (it's not the flashest but it's ok)
    > called "idle" that has sytax highlighting etc.
    >

    I have downloaded Python & I've found a couple of online manuals for Python but they assume you know previous versions of Python - is there a manual for Python beginners?
    Cheers

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