Development log of a life-long coder

First impressions of Python

In a previous article, I enumerated a bunch of popular programming languages and tried to quickly determine which ones seemed like they'd still be useful in another decade.

Now, I'm drilling more deeply into Python.

Setting up a Python development environment

Ah, my old nemesis: Python. I've never had a good experience setting up a Python environment. Additionally, the Python 2 to 3 migration (which included unnecessary things like changing the semantics of the division operator) had so many breaking changes that people are still using Python 2 (even though it is no longer supported).

Yet Python is consistently one of the most popular programming languages. What am I missing?

While setting up Python, I noticed that typing "python" into my Windows command prompt launches the Microsoft Store app (compliments of %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\WindowsApps\python.exe). I'll give the installer a try since it's a surprisingly reasonable ~100 MB download. Apparently, Microsoft decided to insert this Python shim into Windows itself just to make it easier for people to find Python. Interesting.

Going through the tutorial

While going through Python's official tutorial, I'm already seeing things I don't like:

Syntax gripes:

Module woes:

Scoping complaints:

Overall first impressions

Here are my impressions after going through the Python tutorial and playing with Python for a few days:

Ultimately, Python's biggest advantage is its popularity.

Next steps

Now that I've read up on Python and written some basic scripts (mostly to solve Project Euler problems), I'm going to play around with machine learning using Python and NumPy.