What is Python?
Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming, developed by Guido van Rossum in 1989 while working at National Research Institute at Netherlands and first released in Feb 1991. Python features are dynamic typed system, automatic memory management and supports multiple programming paradigms, including object-oriented, imperative, functional programming, and procedural styles. It has a large and comprehensive standard library. The official Date of Birth for Python is : Feb 20th, 1991. Python is recommended as first programming language for beginners.
Two major versions of Python are currently in active use:
- Python 3.x is the current version and is under active development.
- Python 2.x is the legacy version and will receive only security updates until 2020. Afterwards no new features will be implemented. Note that many projects still use Python 2, although migrating to Python 3 is getting easier.
Features of Python
There are various features of python, some of them are as follows:
Simple and easy to learn
- Python is a simple programming language. When we read Python program,we can feel like
reading english statements.
- The syntaxes are very simple and only 30+ keywords are available.
- Compared with other languages, we can write programs with very less number of
lines. Hence more readability and simplicity.
- One can reduce development cost of the project.
- Anyone can use Python software without licence and it is freely available.
- Python source code is open, so that anyone can customize based on their requirement.
Once you write a Python program, it can run on any platform without rewriting it again. Internally PVM is responsible to convert into machine readable form.
High Level Programming language
Python is high level programming language and it is programmer friendly language. Being a programmer you are not required to concentrate low level activities like memory management and security etc.
Python programs are portable ie. you can migrate it from one platform to another platform very easily. Python programs print same results on any platform.
This dynamic typing nature will provide more flexibility to the programmer. In Python we are not required to declare type for variables. Whenever we are assigning the value, based on value, type will be allocated automatically. Hence Python is considered as dynamically typed language.
Whereas Java, C etc are Statically Typed Languages because you have to declare variable type at the beginning only.
Procedural and Object Oriented
Python language supports both Procedure oriented (such as C, pascal etc) and object oriented (such as C++, Java) features. So you get benefits of both like security and reusability etc.
Interpreted and Extensive Library
You are not required to compile Python programs explicitly. Internally Python interpreter takes care of that. If compilation fails interpreter raised syntax error. When compilation success then PVM (Python Virtual Machine) is responsible to execute.
Python has a rich inbuilt library. Being a programmer you can use this library directly and you are not responsible to implement the functionality.
Disadvantages of Python
Python is widely used general-purpose, high-level programming language. It is mostly used by developers in various domain like from web-development to Machine Learning. Although it has some drawbacks.
- Performance and speed wise, python is not up to the mark because it is interpreted language.
- However Python is strong in desktop and server platforms but it is a weak language for mobile development.
- Python’s memory consumption is also high, due to the flexibility of the data types.
- It is very simple language which is more concerned for programming skills.
Applications of Python
There are various applications of python and some of them are listed below.
Python provides various options for web development such Django, Pyramid, Flask etc. frameworks for web development and advanced (CMS) content management systems like Django CMS. All these web frameworks contains standard libraries and modules which simplify tasks like database interaction, content management, and interfacing with internet protocols like HTTP, SMTP, FTP, IMAP, POP etc.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
Python has a great collection of resourceful libraries, and an active community make it the perfect language for developing AI and ML applications. Some of the best Python packages for AI and ML are:
- SciPy for advanced computing
- Pandas for general-purpose data analysis
- Seaborn for data visualization
- NumPy for high-performance scientific computing and data analysis
- TensorFlow, and Scikit-learn for ML
Python is packed with many useful libraries for game development such as PySoy ( 3D game engine that supports Python 3) and PyGame.
Scientific and Numeric Applications
Python has become a crucial tool in scientific and numeric computing. It has most widely used libraries such as SciPy (scientific numeric library) Pandas (data analytics library).
Python libraries, packages and applications aim to smooth the process of software development. To developing a complex applications that involve scientific and numeric computing, to developing desktop and web applications, Python can do it all very efficiently. This is the main reason why Software Developers use Python as a support language for build control, testing, and management.
Python has many GUI toolkits and frameworks that are useful to make desktop application development. PyQt, PyGtk, Tkinter, WxPython, PyGUI, and PySide are some of the best Python-based GUI frameworks that allow developers to create highly functional Graphical User Interfaces.
Enterprise level Applications
Enterprise level applications are different from standard applications. These applications must be capable of integrating with legacy systems like existing databases and non-web applications. Python has scalability, flexibility, and readability are just the advantages required for developing fully-functional and efficient business applications.
So far you have got a better understanding about python characteristics. This is our series of Python for beginners. In our upcoming tutorials you will see python installation, variables etc. Thanks!!