in reply to Perl fan being tempted with Python

Since your direct question -- about Perl's vs Python's OO -- seems to have been addressed a few times, I'd like to talk about the languages more generally. You can safely ignore this post if you want to concentrate entirely on the OO issue.

After knowing Perl for upwards of 7 years, I've been using Python for a few months now, and I think it's a fine language. (For those that wonder, I still use Perl at home, but at work we're doing Python.) The oft-discussed differences -- such as semantic whitespace and lack of messy syntax characters -- are just superficial. In my experience, those "features" become unimportant fairly quickly. They don't impact my feeling on the language one way or the other, they are just the way things are.

There are other differences in the languages that I think are more important for actual work. The scoping rules, assignment rules, and typing system are probably the biggest I've run into. There aren't as many differences as one might think, but these things matter for real code, and the issues are sometimes subtle. Frankly, I don't know Python well enough to enumerate all the differences, but I have had problems with my Perl-think not translating directly. Obviously I feel more comfortable with the Perl frame of mind, but the Python way doesn't seem inherently inferior, just different.

Language differences aside, there is also the question of the community. I don't think there's anything for Python quite like Perl's CPAN. I also don't know of a Python site anything like Perlmonks. These things may exist, and I just don't know about them, but I don't think they do. I have, however, had good experiences with the #python IRC channel on Freenode (which is actually split up into two separate channels that you get sent to randomly). So again, I'm not entirely convinced that either community is better or worse overall, but there are undoubtedly some important differences.

In short, there are differences. The differences are both real and superficial, but in the end, both languages are plenty capable. I would definitely advise learning Python. I think it's a good idea to learn as many languages as you can. Even if you decide to continue using Perl, seeing things from a slightly different perspective will be a really good experience.

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Re^2: Perl fan being tempted with Python
by willyyam (Priest) on Jun 17, 2005 at 14:11 UTC

    No, there is no PythonMonks (a very great failing) and there is no CPAN for Python (another great failing). There is a Perl to Python phrasebook, which is quite handy.

      there is no CPAN for Python

      While there isn't really anything in the Python world that matches CPAN for integration and size, there are some sites like the Vaults of Parnassus and the Python Package Index that go some way to filling the hole.

      The online Python Cookbook may be helpful

      There's also PLEAC, which is a reasonably comprehensive translation of the most common bits of the Perl Cookbook's code (Python and Ruby have ~65% each).

      The best online resource, though, is comp.lang.python