What is Python?
Python is a general-purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is an interpreted language that came into existence in 1991, and since then it has continued to gain a lot of popularity.
A recent survey report shows that nearly 32% of developers across the world use Python as their preferred programming language. As per the TIOBE index published for the month of October 2018, Python is the fourth most popular programming language behind old classics Java, C, and C++.
You might be aware that Python is still gaining a lot of popularity, but do you know that Python is the now the most popular introductory teaching language in the universities of the United States? Are you aware that Python has been introduced in the computer science curriculum of the schools by the Central Board of Secondary Education in India?
Python programming language is used for building a variety of applications like desktop-based GUI applications, Web based applications, games etc. This language takes care of the common programming tasks, thereby enabling you to focus on the core functionalities of the application. tasks. It has simple syntax that further makes it easier for you to keep the code base readable and application maintainable.
In this article, we will see some of the features of Python Programming language.
1. Easy to read and maintain code
When you are building a software application, you need to focus on the quality of your source code, so that you can easily maintain and update it. The syntax rules of Python enable you to express concepts without writing additional code. Also, Python lays emphasis on making the code more readable, and enables you to use keywords in English language rather than the punctuations, unlike the other programming languages. Therefore, you do not need to write additional code when you use Python to create a custom application. The code base being easy to read helps you to update and maintain it without putting any extra efforts or time.
2. Supports different programming paradigms
Python, like other modern programming languages also supports multiple programming paradigms. Python supports object oriented as well as procedure oriented or procedural paradigms. In addition to this, the language features of Python also support various concepts in functional programming and aspect -oriented programming. Also, python has features like automatic memory management. With this capability of supporting multiple paradigms, and having language features allows you to create a variety of large and complex software applications.
3. Platform Compatibility
Python supports major platforms at present. Python is compatible with different operating systems available in the market such as Windows, LINUX, UNIX, Macintosh, Solaris etc. Since Python is an interpreted language, you can run the same source code on different platforms without even compiling them again, which means that even if you make slight modifications in the code, you do not have to recompile the code, you can simply run the code and see the effects of the changes that you made in your program. This platform compatibility feature helps you to make alterations to your code without any significant increase in the development time.
4. Rich Standard Library
This feature makes Python more useful as compared to other programming languages. This language has multiple pre-built libraries that provide some robust functionality to your application. This standard library helps you to select modules from a wide range of modules available, as per your requirements and specifications. In addition to this, every module helps you to add more functionality to your application without writing any additional bits of code. For example, if you are creating a web application using python, you can make use of the modules from the standard library to add functionalities like web services, working with internet protocols, managing operating system interface or performing string operations etc. If you want detailed information on the standard library, you can refer to the documentation for it.
5. Open Source Frameworks
Python being an open source programming language, helps in significant cost minimization of the development costs, by enabling you to make use of the open source python frameworks, development tools and libraries. There is a wide range of open source frameworks and libraries available for you to use as per your requirements and specifications. For example, if you want to make your web development fast and easy, you can use use the powerful frameworks like Django, Pyramid, Cherrypy, Bottle and Flask. Similarly, you can speed up the desktop based application development by making use of the Python GUI frameworks such as PyQT, PyJs, PyGUI, Kivy, PyGTK and WxPython.
6. Makes Complex Application Development Easy
Because Python is a general purpose programing language for creating both Desktop based GUI applications and web applications, you can also use it to build a complex software which could be a scientific or numeric software. Apart from that, python includes features that supports data analysis and visualization. You can implement these data analysis features to build a custom big data solution without making any extra efforts. BY making use of the data visualization APIs and libraries, you can visualize and present the data in an effective and entrating manner. Moreover Python is used my a large number of programmers for completing their Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tasks.
Uses of Python
Python is making a huge difference in the way the companies works and also towards keeping the bottom line from bottoming out. Here are the main commercial use cases of Python programming language.
- Corel: PaintShop Pro is one of the popular image editing tools that majorly relies on Python scripting, which means that you must have the knowledge of python programming if you wish to automate tasks in PaintShop Pro.
- D-Link: It could be a problem when you try to upgrade firmware over a network connection. D-Link was facing an issue where each upgrade was tying up a machine, which means a incompetent utilization of resources. Moreover, some extra work was needed by some upgrades due to the issues with the target device. A multi threaded application was created using Python language for driving updates to the devices. This enables a machine to serve many machines. Also, a new methodology enables by Python minimized the number of reboots to just one after the installation of the new firmware. Python was selected by D-Link above all other programming languages as it provides an easier-to-use serial communication code.
- Eve-Online: A majority of people are very fond of playing games. Now-a-days online games and computer games are much in trend. Eve-Online majorly depends on python for server and client end of the game both. Eve-Online is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) that actually depends on a Python variant called as StacklessPython. This is very critical as you come across these variants many of the times while working with python language. You can imagine these as python with additional boosters. These variants includes most of the benefits of python along with some extra advantages. So, this company has selected python because it is a source of its strength.
- ForecastWatch.com: The company named ForecastWatch.com takes weather prediction data given by a lot of weather professionals, and compares these predictions to check upto what extent these predictions are accurate. Accordingly the reports are generated which help in improving the weather forecasts. Here also, Python is used to make the software that compares the data. The reason of choosing python is that python only includes features like data analysis and visualization, because of its robust standard libraries which are useful in collecting, parsing, and storing data from online sources. Also, the improved abilities of multithreading in Python helps to collect the forecasts from around 5,000 online sources everyday. Above all, the length of code is very smaller as compared to Java or C# or PHP.
- Frequentis: This company has developed TAPTools. It is an application used in may of the airports for ATC (Air Traffic Control). This software has been created using python programming language and with the help of this software, ATC professional can get updates on the condition of runway, and weather conditions as well.
- Honeywell: This company relies on python for automated testing of applications, and also makes use of this language to control a cooperative environment between softwares that are used to generate documentation for the softwares. As a result, python helps in generating the reports that form the documentation for the setup.
- HP: In a corporate network, it is not easy to find what you require. Many of the companies use off-the-shelf software, or implement a custom search application to make sure that the employees are able to quickly fetch the information that they require. In this case, the search software started life as Infoseek, then it changed its name to Verity Ultraseek, and finally it is known as HP Autonomy today. Modification of the search engine as per the specific requirements becomes easy due to the use of python. Moreover,in comparison to other programming languages like Java, Python provides a smoother multithreaded operation.
- Industrial Light & Magic: This company uses python scripts to produce complex, computer graphic-intensive films. Previously, this company was majorly depending upon Unix shell scripting, but that was not capable of performing the required tasks. Then a comparison of python was made with other languages, like Tcl and Perl, and Python was selected due to its easy structure and syntax rules, which makes it easy to learn as well. Also, even if the software system is built using any language like C or C++, you can still embed Python inside a larger software system as a scripting language. You must understand that Python can successfully interact with these other languages in situations in which some languages cannot.
- Philips: In the Semiconductor industry, automation is necessary thing. Think about a situation in which you are trying to combine the efforts of thousands of robotic devices. Philips tried multiple things, finally came to the conclusion that the company will use Python for the sequencing language, which is the language used to instruct the robot about the further steps. Python works very well with C++, and the code for robot are low level codes which are written in C++. This is the reason python is used.
- United Space Alliance: This company helps NASA with multiple projects like the space shuttle. This company is also known for creating Workflow Automation System (WAS), which is a software designed for managing NASA and other third-party projects. The setup makes use of a central Oracle database as a information repository. Python was selected by this company in comparison of the other programming languages like Java and C++ due to that fact that it provides dynamic typing and pseudo-code–like syntax and it has an interpreter. So, the software is developed faster, and unit testing of each piece is easier.
Python has contributed majorly to attain high productivity, software quality, and maintainability at various organizations across the globe. You can read about the python success stories in detail.