Swaying A Coder Away From Python

    May 3, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

One programmer blogged about the powerful attraction he is feeling to C# programming, and departing from six years of tinkering with Python.

On a higher level, a battle between Python and C# could be seen as Google versus Microsoft, since Python’s creator Guido van Rossum joined Google in December 2005. But legions of C# developers in Redmond may be content to bring over other Python devotees one at a time.

Michal Wallace would be one of those Python followers. He has spent the past several years in Python’s embrace. Judging from a recent post Wallace made, he’s found a knife named C# and is ready to cut himself free from Python, for a few reasons.

“One problem is that python tools suck,” he wrote. Wallace compared the various IDEs and other developer tools available to Microsoft’s freely available Visual Studio Express and called them “toys.”

He also listed a few reasons why C# appeals to him over Python or Java:

•  anonymous functions (delegates)
•  a python-like yield statement
•  a nice type system with generics
•  interfaces
•  properties (Yay!!)

Wallace also cited the “huge number of developers” doing .Net as another reason to switch to C#. “Thanks to Microsoft’s reach, .NET is a much bigger pond than python. I can hire .NET developers anywhere, or if i want, I can get a job as a .NET developer,” he wrote.

IBM developer and well-known Apache contributor Sam Ruby suggested diversification is the way to happiness: “My first recommendation aligns with Aristotle’s: diversify. I didn’t do any Perl in the past week, but I did do Python, PHP, Ruby, and JavaScript. In pond size terms, PHP is huge and growing.”

Burningbird blogger Shelley Powers sees some problems with the P section of ONLamp, consisting of Python, Perl, and PHP. Based on her perspective, “in St. Louis, the demand is for .NET (VB or C#) or Java. That’s it. I mean, that’s really it. Most of the other work in PHP or Python or Perl is off-shored.

Microsoft’s Don Dodge blogged about .NET’s strong points for C# developers: Microsoft .Net is now the most popular development platform in the world. It supports lots of different languages, has an awesome IDE, and integrates with slick QA and code management tools. The .Net community provides tons of support, code samples, test cases, and advice.

Now Wallace has arguments for and against the switch.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.