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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64
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 used/modified/...
64
votes
7answers
67k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
503 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 ...
147
votes
24answers
142k views

What are the drawbacks of Python? [closed]

Python seems all the rage these days, and not undeservingly - for it is truly a language with which one almost enjoys being given a new problem to solve. But, as a wise man once said (calling him a ...
49
votes
7answers
101k views

How do I learn Python from zero to web development? [closed]

I am looking into learning Python for web development. Assuming I already have some basic web development experience with Java (JSP/Servlets), I'm already familiar with web design (HTML, CSS, JS), ...
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: ...
4
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 ...
10
votes
6answers
721 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. ...
16
votes
1answer
741 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 ...
38
votes
5answers
46k 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
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
5answers
9k 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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
8answers
3k 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, ...
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 ...
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, ...
10
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
826 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 ...
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
946 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
842 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
800 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
264 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
519 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
624 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
222 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 = ...
0
votes
1answer
563 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
371 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.
175
votes
9answers
49k 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 ...
92
votes
9answers
58k 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++, ...
77
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 ...
120
votes
15answers
18k views

Is it always a best practice to write a function for anything that needs to repeat twice?

Myself, I can't wait to write a function when I need to do something more than twice. But when it comes to things that only appear twice, it's a bit more tricky. For code that needs more than two ...
57
votes
7answers
57k views

'import module' vs. 'from module import function'

I have always been using this method: from sys import argv and use argv with just argv. But there is a convention of using this: import sys and using the argv by sys.argv The second method ...
68
votes
1answer
41k views

Module vs. Package?

Whenever I do from 'x' import 'y' I was wondering which one is considered the 'module' and which is the 'package', and why it isn't the other way around?
43
votes
8answers
11k views

How can I learn to effectively write Pythonic code?

Doing a google search for "pythonic" reveals a wide range of interpretations. The wikipedia page says: A common neologism in the Python community is pythonic, which can have a wide range of ...
41
votes
16answers
39k views

Why such popularity with Python? [closed]

Other than being annoyed at whitespace as syntax, I'm not a hater, I just don't get the fascination with Python. I appreciate the poetry of Perl, and have programmed beautiful web services in bash &...
33
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
8k views

What are some characteristics of Python that makes it unique as its own language? [closed]

What are some characteristics of Python that makes it unique as its own language? I'm looking for any sort of characteristics ranging from good to bad, useful to hindrance, syntax to real-world usage, ...
9
votes
10answers
57k views

How long would it take to learn Python? [closed]

I have decided to take the time out after work to learn Python. Python appeals to me because at work (Web and eLearning Company), I have to follow out very repetitive tasks like delete all these tags, ...
24
votes
4answers
17k views

Purpose of `return self` from a class method?

I came across something like this in an open-source project. Methods that modify instance attributes return a reference to the instance. Would you trust code that is written like this? class Foo(...
20
votes
3answers
816 views

How do I express subtle relationships in my data?

"A" is related to "B" and "C". How do I show that "B" and "C" might, by this context, be related as well? Example: Here are a few headlines about a recent Broadway play: David Mamet's Glengarry ...
2
votes
7answers
1k views

tips, guidelines, points to remember for rendering professional code? [closed]

I'm talking about giving clients professional looking code. The whole nine yards, everything you hardcore professional highly experienced programmers here probably do when coding freelance or for the ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

SQLite with two python processes accessing it: one reading, one writing

I'm developing a small system with two components: one polls data from an internet resource and translates it into sql data to persist it locally; the second one reads that sql data from the local ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

What are “class methods” and “instance methods”, in Python?

There has been a discussion in chat relating to a question (the question itself being irrelevant to this one), that has revealed I may not know Python whatsoever. In my mind, although terminology ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

When to import names into the global namespace? (using x::y, from x import y etc.)

I've been programming in various languages for about 10 years now. And I still haven't figured out when it is a good idea to import something into the global namespace (using x::y in C++, from x ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Algorithm for flattening overlapping ranges

I am looking for a nice way of flattening (splitting) a list of potentially-overlapping numeric ranges. The problem is very similar to that of this question: Fastest way to split overlapping date ...