Simon Willison’s Weblog

What are the most practical beneficials for Python, comparing to Java?

My answer to What are the most practical beneficials for Python, comparing to Java? on Quora

For me, the single most productive advantage of Python is the ability to work with it interactively in a REPL—I use ipython but Python also ships with an interactive mode out of the box.

I do almost all of my development in the interactive prompt first, then copying working code in to a text editor once I’ve got it working interactively.

I find this more than compensates for the lack of an auto-completing IDE such as Eclipse—in fact ipython does both autocompletion and offers inline documentation (just type symbol? and hit enter for the signature/docstring or symbol?? for the source code to a function).

Once you’ve learnt to develop interactively in this way it can be really frustrating working with a language like Java or PHP that doesn’t lend itself effectively to this style of programming.

I use Firebug and similar tools in the browser to gain the same development style for working with JavaScript.

This is What are the most practical beneficials for Python, comparing to Java? by Simon Willison, posted on 30th December 2011.

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