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Python's popularity

 
 
walterbyrd
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      12-22-2008
I have read that python is the world's 3rd most popular language, and
that python has surpassed perl in popularity, but I am not seeing it.

From what I have seen:

- in unix/linux sysadmin, perl is far more popular than python,
windows sysadmins typically don't use either.
- in web-development, php is far more popular than python - it's not
even close.
- when I did a search on dice, I found over 20X more jobs advertised
for ruby on rails developers, than for python dango developers.
- application development is dominated by java, c/c++, and maybe a
little visual basic.
- as I understand it, fortran is still the most popular language for
numberical programming.

Of course, these are just observations on my part, nothing scientific
about it. But, I can't help but wonder how python's popularity was
determined. I suspect that a lot of people use python as a secondary
skill. For example, I use ms-word, but I'm not an ms-word
professional.

Please note: I am not confusing popularity with quality. I am not
saying that php is better for web-dev, or anything like that. I am
just wondering how python is rated as being so popular, when python
does not seem to dominate anything.
 
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Marco Mariani
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      12-22-2008
walterbyrd wrote:

> I have read that python is the world's 3rd most popular language, and
> that python has surpassed perl in popularity, but I am not seeing it.



In 20 days, you've gone from trying to import a module by using:

> load "test.py"



to questioning the popularity of python.

You have many other subject you want to enlighten us about, I suppose?
Cause I wonder what you'll come up with, next.

 
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skip@pobox.com
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      12-22-2008
Walter> From what I have seen:

Walter> - in unix/linux sysadmin, perl is far more popular than python,
Walter> windows sysadmins typically don't use either.
Walter> - in web-development, php is far more popular than python - it's not
Walter> even close.
Walter> - when I did a search on dice, I found over 20X more jobs advertised
Walter> for ruby on rails developers, than for python dango developers.
Walter> - application development is dominated by java, c/c++, and maybe a
Walter> little visual basic.
Walter> - as I understand it, fortran is still the most popular language for
Walter> numberical programming.

Looking at specific application domains doesn't tell the entire story. If
you look back at the Tour de France results from the 80's I believe Greg
Lemond won it one year without ever winning a stage. What you are reporting
is akin to that. Fortran is almost certainly the king of numerical
programming, but Python might be #2 or #3 there (behind Matlab). I'm pretty
sure it dwarfs Perl, PHP and Ruby in that domain. In web development, while
PHP is more popular than Python, Python is probably much more popular than
Perl and Tcl. Maybe not ahead of Ruby due to RoR. etc etc.

Skip
 
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Richard Riley
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      12-22-2008
Marco Mariani <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> walterbyrd wrote:
>
>> I have read that python is the world's 3rd most popular language, and
>> that python has surpassed perl in popularity, but I am not seeing it.

>
>
> In 20 days, you've gone from trying to import a module by using:
>
>> load "test.py"

>
>
> to questioning the popularity of python.
>
> You have many other subject you want to enlighten us about, I suppose?
> Cause I wonder what you'll come up with, next.
>


One does not have to by a language maestro to try and assess its
popularity. While his numbers or his reading of the numbers might be
open to some questions, to suggest that one needs to be totally familiar
with a language to determine its popularity is, frankly, ridiculous.

--
important and urgent problems of the technology of today are no longer the satisfactions of the primary needs or of archetypal wishes, but the reparation of the evils and damages by the technology of yesterday. ~Dennis Gabor, Innovations: Scientific, Technological and Social, 1970
 
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Luis M. González
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      12-22-2008
On Dec 22, 12:11*pm, walterbyrd <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I have read that python is the world's 3rd most popular language, and
> that python has surpassed perl in popularity, but I am not seeing it.
>
> From what I have seen:
>
> - in unix/linux sysadmin, perl is far more popular than python,
> windows sysadmins typically don't use either.
> - in web-development, php is far more popular than python - it's not
> even close.
> - when I did a search on dice, I found over 20X more jobs advertised
> for ruby on rails developers, than for python dango developers.
> - application development is dominated by java, c/c++, and maybe a
> little visual basic.
> - as I understand it, fortran is still the most popular language for
> numberical programming.
>
> Of course, these are just observations on my part, nothing scientific
> about it. But, I can't help but wonder how python's popularity was
> determined. I suspect that a lot of people use python as a secondary
> skill. For example, I use ms-word, but I'm not an ms-word
> professional.
>
> Please note: I am not confusing popularity with quality. I am not
> saying that php is better for web-dev, or anything like that. I am
> just wondering how python is rated as being so popular, when python
> does not seem to dominate anything.



Sooner or later, we will remember those good old days where python was
our "secret sauce"...
 
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Marco Mariani
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      12-22-2008
Richard Riley wrote:

> One does not have to by a language maestro to try and assess its
> popularity. While his numbers or his reading of the numbers might be
> open to some questions, to suggest that one needs to be totally familiar
> with a language to determine its popularity is, frankly, ridiculous.


I was not judging his competency. But when I am naive on a subject, I
don't usually show off like that.
The polemic intents in his previous messages are quite clear (python is
slow, py3k is an utter failure because it doesn't solve the whitespace
issue, etc), and this thread is not different. It seems like a rehash of
issues that have been dragged around here by generations of trolls for
the last 10 years.

Sorry for adding noise to the signal :-/
 
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Steve Holden
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      12-22-2008
walterbyrd wrote:
> I have read that python is the world's 3rd most popular language, and
> that python has surpassed perl in popularity, but I am not seeing it.

[rest of stuff adequately answered by other posters]

The "Python has surpassed Perl" myth came from one month's results on
the TIOBE index, which does not claim to use a scientifically
justifiable methodology.

Python *is* becoming very popular. Training demand is certainly going
up. It's a great language for people whose primary career isn't
programming but who need to do some programming - for example, there are
about 40 scientists and engineers supporting the Mars Lander project
using Python code, because it's a great way to put systems together that
other engineers can understand.

I try to discourage people from getting into language ****ing contests,
because they are rarely productive. The short answer is that nobody
really knows how popular the various languages are, there are simply
estimates with higher or lower credibility.

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +1 571 484 6266 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC http://www.holdenweb.com/

 
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r
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-22-2008
I think when Python was first brought to this dark world by a genius
named Guido van Rossum, it had complete dominance in it's niche,
actually Python created a niche where none existed before. Since the
advent of Ruby(Python closet competitor), Python's hold on this niche
is slipping. A lot of Ruby noobies don't even realize that most of
Ruby is an out-right plagiarism of Python. But I guess that's OK,
because Python has borrowed from other languages itself.. just not in
such a -sell your soul- kind of way as Ruby!.

Now since Python *is not* the only language on it's block, we have to
compete with our main nemesis(Ruby) for survival(I wonder if mats
would have been so revolutionary to introduce indention if Guido had
not done it first??, it seems to me he is a braces fanboy

Now more than ever we must stick to the Zen and clean up Python's
warts to keep the dream alive and regain our right full crown. Python
is better than Ruby, I have no doubt in my mind, but if we let ruby
become -faster- than Python, people will gravitate away from Python.
Speed IS important even in high level languages. We must never forget
that! The war is not over just because we have Google, Nasa, and ILM.
On the Contrary, it has just begun. I believe mats is not going to
accept Ruby as 2nd best to Python, he will wage war on Pythonia. And
if we fail to preempt this attack, we shall be like the burning ships
of pearl harbor! Maybe Guido has a secret weapon up his sleeve(big
boy), but 3.0 was defiantly not the bomb!

Mats will now take advantage of the weaknesses in Py3000 and run with
them. Whispering in everyones ear how much faster Ruby is to Python.
And weather you like to hear it or not, this ROR thing is exploding,
we must counter attack this vile disgrace to Pythonia. Do not sit back
and say "well we are the best and we don't need to try any harder".
For you will be left in the evolutionary dust of Ruby. And next year,
left wanting...

We need to sound the battle cries and gather the legions. Then we
shall march across Rubonia and *raise* their cities to the ground. We
shall encompass thy house O' Ruby -- and lay waste to it! After we
slay thee, we shall breed with thy women and convert thy children. We
shall rule with an iron fist!, crushing all resistance to Python's
absolute power. Like the great kings of olde, monuments will be
erected so all generations shall be witness of our power, and glory.
""" O' Python, for the sound of thy chariots will be so fear full no
army could stand against thee!""" We shall avenge the atrocities and
hypocrocies you have brought upon this world Ruby! And then you shall
know that we are the Lord of this world, when our vengeance is cast
upon you!

I will be monitoring comp.lang.python and over the next 6 months I
will conduct a census of the users of this group. So far I have only
seen maybe 20 regulars here. I had hoped they numbered several
thousand, but i am starting to think more in the hundreds or even
less . I will post my findings to this group. It shall be a wake up
call for those of you who think the war is over. Get off your bums you
lazy-coach-potatos, the fight is not over yet. Do not let your eye's
become "wide shut"!!!

Truth shall be the judge...
 
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walterbyrd
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-22-2008
On Dec 22, 10:13*am, r <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Since the
> advent of Ruby(Python closet competitor), Python's hold on this niche
> is slipping.


About the only place I ever hear of ruby being used is web development
with RoR. When it comes to web development, it seems to me that ruby
(because of rails) is far more popular than python. It seems to me
that ruby is the niche player, and python (with fairly new frameworks)
is trying to catch up to ruby in that niche. It seems to me that the
python web framework that best competes with rails, is Django, and
Django 1.0 just came out a few months back.

> A lot of Ruby noobies don't even realize that most of
> Ruby is an out-right plagiarism of Python.


Maybe. But the rails framework seems to have a different philosophy
than the django, turbogears, or pylons, frameworks. RoR values
convention over configuration, and has a lot of "magic" whereas the
python frameworks seem to have the opposite philosophy - in those
regards. I see pros and cons to both approaches. I wonder what the
market with think?

> Now since Python *is not* the only language on it's block, we have to
> compete with our main nemesis(Ruby) for survival


I think both python and ruby will "survive." I think python is also
competing with perl in the sysadmin space - although I see perl as
being much more popular there.
 
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Steve Holden
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-22-2008
r wrote:
> I think when Python was first brought to this dark world by a genius
> named Guido van Rossum, it had complete dominance in it's niche,
> actually Python created a niche where none existed before. Since the
> advent of Ruby(Python closet competitor), Python's hold on this niche
> is slipping. A lot of Ruby noobies don't even realize that most of
> Ruby is an out-right plagiarism of Python. But I guess that's OK,
> because Python has borrowed from other languages itself.. just not in
> such a -sell your soul- kind of way as Ruby!.
>
> Now since Python *is not* the only language on it's block, we have to
> compete with our main nemesis(Ruby) for survival(I wonder if mats
> would have been so revolutionary to introduce indention if Guido had
> not done it first??, it seems to me he is a braces fanboy
>

What makes you assume this is a zero-sum game, and that Python won't
survive if any other language becomes popular. Every language borrows
from those that came before it. Terms like "outright plagiarism" don't
encourage rational debate, and make you seem like a troll who is more
interested in stirring up controversy than actually doing things to help
promote the language.

> Now more than ever we must stick to the Zen and clean up Python's
> warts to keep the dream alive and regain our right full crown. Python
> is better than Ruby, I have no doubt in my mind, but if we let ruby
> become -faster- than Python, people will gravitate away from Python.
> Speed IS important even in high level languages. We must never forget
> that! The war is not over just because we have Google, Nasa, and ILM.
> On the Contrary, it has just begun. I believe mats is not going to
> accept Ruby as 2nd best to Python, he will wage war on Pythonia. And
> if we fail to preempt this attack, we shall be like the burning ships
> of pearl harbor! Maybe Guido has a secret weapon up his sleeve(big
> boy), but 3.0 was defiantly not the bomb!
>

I have an article about the Zen coming up in "Python Magazine" so I
won't steal its thunder. Suffice it to say that people take the Zen far
too seriously. Anyone who does so undermines their own credibility as a
Python commentator. This isn't a war. Stop being childish.

> Mats will now take advantage of the weaknesses in Py3000 and run with
> them. Whispering in everyones ear how much faster Ruby is to Python.
> And weather you like to hear it or not, this ROR thing is exploding,
> we must counter attack this vile disgrace to Pythonia. Do not sit back
> and say "well we are the best and we don't need to try any harder".
> For you will be left in the evolutionary dust of Ruby. And next year,
> left wanting...
>

If all you want from a language is speed, go use C. I would avoid
assembly language though, since a modern optimizing C compiler will
often beat an assembly language programmer for execution speed, and the
programming time will definitely be shorter. But to make speed the
be-all and end-all is a witless approach. Speed is definitely not why
dynamic languages' popularity is increasing. Speed *is* still relevant
in certain areas, and completely irrelevant in others.

> We need to sound the battle cries and gather the legions. Then we
> shall march across Rubonia and *raise* their cities to the ground. We
> shall encompass thy house O' Ruby -- and lay waste to it! After we
> slay thee, we shall breed with thy women and convert thy children. We
> shall rule with an iron fist!, crushing all resistance to Python's
> absolute power. Like the great kings of olde, monuments will be
> erected so all generations shall be witness of our power, and glory.
> """ O' Python, for the sound of thy chariots will be so fear full no
> army could stand against thee!""" We shall avenge the atrocities and
> hypocrocies you have brought upon this world Ruby! And then you shall
> know that we are the Lord of this world, when our vengeance is cast
> upon you!
>
> I will be monitoring comp.lang.python and over the next 6 months I
> will conduct a census of the users of this group. So far I have only
> seen maybe 20 regulars here. I had hoped they numbered several
> thousand, but i am starting to think more in the hundreds or even
> less . I will post my findings to this group. It shall be a wake up
> call for those of you who think the war is over. Get off your bums you
> lazy-coach-potatos, the fight is not over yet. Do not let your eye's
> become "wide shut"!!!
>
> Truth shall be the judge...


Much more of this kind of tripe and nobody will read what you write
anyway. You will hear the plonking of a hundred thousand newsreaders
every time you post.

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +1 571 484 6266 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC http://www.holdenweb.com/

 
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