If you already know Java or C# or C++ (or if you’re not from a programming background), why should you learn Python? The answer is simple. Due to the outstanding features of Python programming.
- 1 Python Features
- 1.1 1. Easy Language
- 1.2 2. Readable
- 1.3 3. Interpreted Language
- 1.4 4. Dynamically-Typed Language
- 1.5 5. Object-Oriented
- 1.6 6. Popular and Large Community Support
- 1.7 7. Open-Source
- 1.8 8. Large Standard Library
- 1.9 9. Platform-Independent
- 1.10 10. Extensible and Embeddable
- 1.11 11. GUI Support
- 1.12 12. High-level Language
- 2 Python Advantages and Disadvantages
- 3 Python Advantages and Disadvantages
- 3.1 Advantages of Python
- 3.2 Disadvantages of Python
- 4 Summary
Let’s discuss some important features of Python Programming Language:
1. Easy Language
Python is an easy language. It is easy to read, write, learn and understand.
- Python has a smooth learning curve. It is easy to learn.
- Python has a simple syntax and Python code is easy to understand.
- Since it’s easy to understand, you can easily read and understand someone else’s code.
- Python is also easy to write because of its simple syntax.
Because it is an easy language, it is used in schools and universities to introduce students to programming. Python is for both startups and big companies.
The Python language is designed to make developers life easy. Reading a Python code is like reading an English sentence. This is one of the key reason that makes Python best for beginners. Python uses indentation instead of curly braces, unlike other programming languages. This makes the code look clean and easier to understand.
3. Interpreted Language
Python is an interpreted language. It comes with the IDLE (Interactive Development Environment). This is an interpreter and follows the REPL structure (Read-Evaluate-Print-Loop). It executes and displays the output of one line at a time. So it displays errors while you’re running a line and displays the entire stack trace for the error.
4. Dynamically-Typed Language
Python is not statically-typed like Java. You don’t need to declare data type while defining a variable. The interpreter determines this at runtime based on the types of the parts of the expression. This is easy for programmers but can create runtime errors.
Python follows duck-typing. It means, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.”
Python is object-oriented but supports both functional and object-oriented programming. Everything in Python is an object. It has the OOP (Object-oriented programming) concepts like inheritance and polymorphism.
6. Popular and Large Community Support
Python has one of the largest communities on StackOverflow and Meetup. If you need help, the community will answer your questions. They also already have many answered questions about Python.
Python is open-source and the community is always contributing to it to improve it. It is free and its source code is freely available to the public.
You can download Python from the official Python Website.
8. Large Standard Library
The standard library is large and has many packages and modules with common and important functionality. If you need something that is available in this standard library, you don’t need to write it from scratch. Because of this, you can focus on more important things. You can also install packages from the PyPI (Python Package Index) if you want even more functionality.
Python is platform-independent. If you write a program, it will run on different platforms like Windows, Mac and Linux. You don’t need to write them separately for each platform.
10. Extensible and Embeddable
Python is extensible. You can use code from other languages like C++ in your Python code. It is also embeddable. You can embed your Python code in other languages like C++.
11. GUI Support
You can use Python to create GUI (Graphical User Interfaces). You can use tkinter, PyQt, wxPython or Pyside for this.
12. High-level Language
Python is a high-level language and C++ is mid-level. Python is easy to understand and closer to the user. You don’t need to remember system architecture or manage the memory.
Python Advantages and Disadvantages
When you are learning a new language let’s say Python, you must be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of that language. This will help you to get a better knowledge of how you can take full advantage of the Python programming language. With knowing the Python advantages and disadvantages, we can build robust applications.
Let’s start with the advantages and disadvantages of Python.
Python Advantages and Disadvantages
Let’s first dive into the advantages of Python.
Advantages of Python
1. Easy to Read, Learn and Write
Python is a high-level programming language that has English-like syntax. This makes it easier to read and understand the code.
Python is really easy to pick up and learn, that is why a lot of people recommend Python to beginners.
You need less lines of code to perform the same task as compared to other major languages like C/C++ and Java.
2. Improved Productivity
Python is a very productive language. Due to the simplicity of Python, developers can focus on solving the problem.
They don’t need to spend too much time in understanding the syntax or behaviour of the programming language. You write less code and get more things done.
3. Interpreted Language
Python is an interpreted language which means that Python directly executes the code line by line. In case of any error, it stops further execution and reports back the error which has occurred.
Python shows only one error even if the program has multiple errors. This makes debugging easier.
4. Dynamically Typed
Python doesn’t know the type of variable until we run the code. It automatically assigns the data type during execution. The programmer doesn’t need to worry about declaring variables and their data types.
5. Free and Open-Source
Python comes under the OSI approved open-source license. This makes it free to use and distribute. You can download the source code, modify it and even distribute your version of Python. This is useful for organizations that want to modify some specific behaviour and use their version for development.
6. Vast Libraries Support
The standard library of Python is huge, you can find almost all the functions needed for your task. So, you don’t have to depend on external libraries. But even if you do, a Python package manager (pip) makes things easier to import other great packages from the Python package index (PyPi). It consists of over 200,000 packages.
In many languages like C/C++, you need to change your code to run the program on different platforms. That is not the same with Python. You only write once and run it anywhere. However, you should be careful not to include any system-dependent features.
Disadvantages of Python
1. Slow Speed
We discussed above that Python is an interpreted language and dynamically-typed language. The line by line execution of code often leads to slow execution. The dynamic nature of Python is also responsible for the slow speed of Python because it has to do the extra work while executing code. So, Python is not used for purposes where speed is an important aspect of the project.
2. Not Memory Efficient
To provide simplicity to the developer, Python has to do a little tradeoff. The Python programming language uses a large amount of memory. This can be a disadvantage while building applications when we prefer memory optimization.
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3. Weak in Mobile Computing
Python is generally used in server-side programming. We don’t get to see Python on the client-side or mobile applications because of the following reasons. Python is not memory efficient and it has slow processing power as compared to other languages.
4. Database Access
Programming in Python is easy and stress-free. But when we are interacting with the database, it lacks behind. The Python’s database access layer is primitive and underdeveloped in comparison to the popular technologies like JDBC and ODBC. Huge enterprises need smooth interaction of complex legacy data and Python is thus rarely used in enterprises.
5. Runtime Errors
As we know Python is a dynamically typed language so the data type of a variable can change anytime. A variable containing integer number may hold a string in the future, which can lead to Runtime Errors. Therefore Python programmers need to perform thorough testing of the applications.
Python is a simple, versatile and a complete programming language. It is a great choice for beginners up to professionals. Although it has some disadvantages, we can observe that the advantages exceed the disadvantages. Even Google has made Python one of its primary programming languages.
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