Python is a dynamic, high-level language. Its design focuses on clear syntax, an intuitive approach to object-oriented programming, and making the right way to do things obvious. Python supports modules, exceptions, had an extensive standard module library. Python can also be embedded in other ...

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63
votes
8answers
14k views

Defensive Programming vs Exception Handling?

I'm working through the book "Head First Python" (it's my language to learn this year) and I got to a section where they argue about two code techniques: Defensive coding vs Exception handling. Here ...
40
votes
7answers
6k views

Are small amounts of functional programming understandable by non-FP people? [closed]

Case: I'm working at a company, writing an application in Python that is handling a lot of data in arrays. I'm the only developer of this program at the moment, but it will probably be ...
0
votes
1answer
544 views

How do I create every permutation [closed]

I have a list of letters, this is just an example list: ['a','b','c','d','e'] How do I compute every combination of the list? The letters cannot repeat, for example. a,b,c,d,e a,c,b,d,e a,c,d,b,e ...
90
votes
9answers
56k views

Why is Python used for high-performance/scientific computing (but Ruby isn't)?

There's a quote from a PyCon 2011 talk that goes: At least in our shop (Argonne National Laboratory) we have three accepted languages for scientific computing. In this order they are C/C++, ...
170
votes
9answers
47k views

Why do people hesitate to use Python 3?

Python 3 was released in December 2008. A lot of time has passed since then but still today many developers hesitate to use Python 3. Even popular frameworks like Django are not compatible with Python ...
61
votes
7answers
64k views

Why use try … finally without a catch clause?

The classical way to program is with try ... catch. When is it appropriate to use try without catch? In Python the following appears legal and can make sense: try: #do work finally: #do ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

Best practices in comment writing and documentation

Commenting nowadays is easier than ever. In Java, there are some nice techniques for linking comments to classes, and Java IDEs are good at making comment shells for you. Languages like Clojure even ...
19
votes
7answers
7k views

Learning to program in C (coming from Python) [closed]

If this is the wrong place to ask this question, please let me know. I'm a Python programmer by occupation. I would love to learn C. Indeed, I have tried many times, but I always get discouraged. In ...
35
votes
5answers
44k views

Is Python Interpreted or Compiled?

This is just a wondering I had while reading about interpreted and compiled languages. Ruby is no doubt an interpreted language, since source code is compiled by an interpreter at the point of ...
33
votes
9answers
6k views

Is the algorithm more important than the programming language?

During the current (2013) Google Code Jam contest, there was a problem that took C++ and Java people 200+ lines of code as compared to Python people that solved the same problem only using 40 lines of ...
36
votes
4answers
4k views

Python Forgiveness vs. Permission and Duck Typing

In Python, I often hear that it is better to "beg forgiveness" (exception catching) instead of "ask permission" (type/condition checking). In regards to enforcing duck typing in Python, is this try: ...
25
votes
5answers
10k views

Is programming in Python faster than in C, C++ or Java? [closed]

There's a widespread belief among programmers that the more dynamic and loosely typed the language, the more productive the programmer will be in it. Guido van Rossum wrote about programming ...
5
votes
6answers
7k views

Why should we use low level languages if a high level one like python can do almost everything? [closed]

I know python is not suitable for things like microcontrolers, make drivers etc, but besides that, you can do everything using python, companys get stuck with speed optimizations for real hard time ...
19
votes
9answers
10k views

Is it essential to learn algorithms to be a real programmer? [closed]

I'm a PHP programmer, and until now I have not needed to learn algorithms... Now I'm start learning Python (a real programming language), because I need to use matplotlib. Does it make sense to start ...
10
votes
6answers
706 views

As a beginning programmer, should I favor building my own libraries over using 3rd-party libraries?

As a beginning Python programmer, is it a good idea to build and understand my own libraries before jumping to advanced 3rd-party libraries that contains the functionality I need? Some projects (e.g. ...
8
votes
3answers
795 views

What are the challenges related to typing in writing a compiler for a dynamically typed language?

In this talk, Guido van Rossum is talking (27:30) about attempts to write a compiler for Python code, commenting on it saying: turns out it's not so easy to write a compiler that maintains all the ...
16
votes
1answer
726 views

What are the problems python 3 new features solve? [closed]

Python 3 new features say: we’re mostly fixing well-known annoyances and warts, and removing a lot of old cruft It mentions what is different (the fix) but not why (the problems). I have have ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

Are there any negative side effects of splitting up large modules? [closed]

I was browsing a github project and found this module which has more than 10 thousand lines. Is it a common practice to have that much code in a single module? It seems to me that this should be ...
11
votes
5answers
713 views

How is the JVM and Java's WORA different from other high level languages?

In the Java world, we often talk about the JVM, and when Java was new it had the supposedly killer feature of "Write Once, Run Anywhere." From the way people talk and write, this seems different from ...
-1
votes
1answer
345 views

Unevenly distributed random number generation [duplicate]

Let's say I have to generate random number from 1 to 100, however, the probability of each number is not 1/100, but a predefined probability. How to generate that number? I use Ruby/Python.
36
votes
5answers
4k views

Java dev learning Python: what concepts do I need to wrap my head around?

Background: I've run through a few tutorials and written some small projects. All is going well enough using Google and StackOverflow. Several times in the last few days I've found myself wondering ...
24
votes
8answers
21k views

Ruby or Python? [closed]

This question is extremely subjective and open-ended. It might even sound like something I should just research for myself and make my own decision. But I'd like to put it out there and get some ...
18
votes
4answers
8k views

Best practices for execution of untrusted code

I have a project where I need to allow users to run arbitrary, untrusted python code (a bit like this) against my server. I'm fairly new to python and I'd like to avoid making any mistakes that ...
17
votes
7answers
9k views

Python productivity VS Java Productivity

Over on SO I came across a question regarding which platform, Java or Python is best for developing on Google AppEngine. Many people were boasting of the increased productivity gained from using ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

How can I prevent a client from seeing my code written in an interpreted language?

I'm building a fairly complex interpreted program in Python. I've been working on most of this code for other purposes for a few months, and therefore don't want my client to be able to simply copy ...
25
votes
7answers
23k views

Should we use python 2.6 or 2.7 or 3.x? [closed]

The version of python which I am using is 2.6, and there is a 2.7 and 3.x. Usually I use python for some trivial program/snippet. I realize there are some major difference between 2.x and 3.x. I would ...
23
votes
3answers
6k views

Why aren't there explicit access modifiers in Python:

If 'explicit is better than implicit', why aren't there explicit access modifiers in Python: Public, Protected, Private, etc.? I know that the idea is that the programmer should know what to do ...
16
votes
8answers
2k views

What are good unit tests to cover the use case of rolling a die?

I'm trying to get to grips with unit testing. Say we have a die which can has a default number of sides equal to 6 (but can be 4, 5 sided etc.): import random class Die(): def __init__(self, ...
20
votes
4answers
12k views

Why doesn't Python allow multi-line lambdas?

Can someone explain the concrete reasons why BDFL choose to make Python lambdas single line? This is good: lambda x: x**x This results in an error: lambda x: x**x I understand that making ...
19
votes
5answers
13k views

How difficult is Python and Django to pick up for a Java/.NET web developer? [closed]

I just started a new job a couple months ago at a small company where I am currently leading all development efforts present and future. I personally have years of experience in software design and ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some programmers categorize C, Python, C++ differently? - regarding level

I am taking an introductory course on python and the instructor says that python is a high level language and C and C++ are low level languages. It's just confusing. I thought that C, C++, Python, ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Python lower_case_with_underscores style convention: underscores not popular? [closed]

PEP8 recommends using lowercase, with words separated by underscores as necessary to improve readability for variable and function names. I've seen this interpreted as ...
9
votes
6answers
7k views

How does rapid prototyping fit into an agile methodology?

I work for a large company, which dictates the use of agile processes. For example, for our projects, we use cloud-based services that are specifically targeted at managing agile development. The ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

How does one become proficient in a language and its idioms? [closed]

I'm a recent graduate and there are a few (three generally) languages I switch between based on the requirement. What I've found is I always have to look up syntax whenever I code. I know I'm not ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How to use multiple programming languages together in the same program? [closed]

Such a simple question, but I have not found a reasonable answer to this. I currently program in Python, an interpreted language. I always hear of people using multiple languages in the same program? ...
3
votes
2answers
941 views

Why do ruby and python seem to have more community contribution than PHP? [closed]

In a recent blog post by Roy Osherove, it is pointed out that his switch from primarily .Net development to ruby development has seen a huge difference in community involvement and really enjoys it. ...
2
votes
4answers
824 views

Multiple attribution in Python, JS, …?

I accidentally discovered this a=b=c=d=e=f=2 in python(2.7)(and JavaScript a few minutes later) interpreter . Is this a feature or just the way the interpreter works, if is a feature how it is ...
15
votes
7answers
7k views

Would Python be too slow for client-side use in Browsers?

I've heard the statement that Python would be too slow to be of any use in browsers. I reckon Javascript is only superior in this aspect because of companies like Google who need it fast (and made it ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

Is monkeypatching considered good programming practice?

I've been under impression, that monkeypatching is more in quick and dirty hack category, rather than standard, good programming practice. While I'd used from time to time to fix minor issues with 3rd ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Caching factory design

I have a factory class XFactory that creates objects of class X. Instances of X are very large, so the main purpose of the factory is to cache them, as transparently to the client code as possible. ...
5
votes
2answers
785 views

Why does the word “Pythonic” exist? [closed]

Honestly, I hate the word "Pythonic" -- it's used as a simple synonym of "good" in many circles, and I think that's pretentious. Those who use it are silently saying that good code cannot be written ...
11
votes
3answers
789 views

How is type checked in a dynamic language interpreter/compiler, such as JavaScript?

In dynamic languages, such as JavaScript or Python, the type of a variable is determined at runtime. This is one reason why they are slower than typed languages such as Java. How is type checking ...
7
votes
2answers
261 views

Version control for code that contains student exercises

I have a fairly substantial Python project that I have developed as an educational endeavor. The version of the code that shall be given to students has exercises throughout, in the form of code that ...
7
votes
2answers
177 views

When profiling a function for time use, what information is desirable?

I'm writing a program similar to Python's timeit module. The idea is to time a function by executing it anywhere from 10 to 100,000 times depending on how long it takes and then report results. I've ...
6
votes
2answers
506 views

Writing functional tests for a legacy project

I am trying to add a couple of tests to a legacy C project. The project basically consists of a command line tool that prints something to stdout every time an event happens. Now, since writing unit ...
5
votes
3answers
617 views

How to avoid large function arity / exposure of underlying implementation

Currently reading Clean Code, and the authors seem to imply that any function with an arity greater than 3 should be avoided at all costs. I am unfortunately running into an issue where I am faced ...
4
votes
2answers
217 views

Should I prefer Python generators to lists?

Python iterators can be very memory efficient. Should I always prefer to use generators instead of just lists? In what situations should I prefer a plain array? For example instead of this: emails = ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does Python need both a compiler and an interpreter?

I can understand the fact that Java needs both a compiler and an interpreter. It compiles source code to bytecode and then a virtual machine (on Windows, on Linux, on Android, etc.) translates that ...
1
vote
3answers
453 views

How do I test my code in Python other than by doing it by hand?

I am used to user testing in Java, and I also manually test each section of code I write, but now, I want to automate it. There is no GUI for this project, so user testing is not required and I can ...
76
votes
8answers
12k views

Are there any design patterns that are unnecessary in dynamic languages like Python?

I've started reading the design pattern book by the GoF. Some patterns seem very similar with only minor conceptual differences. Do you think out of the many patterns some are unnecessary in a ...