Things I Like about Python

November 13, 2021

I've been using Python a lot lately. Here are some things I like about it.

Things I Like about Python

Things I Hate about Python

XKCD - Python Environment

Source: XKCD

Why I'm Forced to Use Python

What Would Make Python Tolerable

Change My Mind: Docker exists because of Python

History of C

Here's a partial overview of the history of C-like languages.

1958 ALGOL
1970 C
1979 C++
1984 Objective-C
1999 C#
2001 D
2007 Go
2010 Rust
2013 Dart
2014 Swift
2015 Zig
2016 Odin

The computer language design space is infinitely complex. There's no right or wrong, just different trade-offs. New languages are collectively exploring the trade-off space and influencing one another.

After decades of dominance there's finally momentum to create a better C and better C++.

History of Python

Here's a partial overview of the history of Python-like languages.

1969 SETL
1987 ABC
1991 Python
1995 Ruby
2000 Python 2
2008 Python 3
2008 Nim
2009 Julia

The high-level language design space is stagnant and lacks innovation. The transition from Python2 to Python3 was an absolute disaster; and it only made incremental improvements!

The world needs a high-level language that is approachable and powerful. Python is suffocating the space. We can do better.

Ecosystem Inertia

The Python language kinda sucks. The batteries are included, but they're corroded. (os.path I'm looking at you.)

Python isn't popular because the language is good. It's popular because the ecosystem is monumental in both size and value.


Python is popular because Data Science and Machine Learning are popular. And DS/ML use Python because of NumPy.

Python Popularity

Source: Stack Overflow

If NumPy didn't exist then Python wouldn't have quadrupled in popularity. That said, ML would not have advanced so quickly if not for the Python + NumPy + PyTorch wombo combo.

I'm thankful Python was created and accelerated ML. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and Python is a true Titan. Python has earned its place in the Pantheon of Programming Languages. But it's 30 years old and our young industry has advanced significantly.

Python Belongs in a Museum

Programming Language Timelines

It takes ~10 years for a new programming to be invented, stabilized, and for a community to start building ecosystem momentum.

I sincerely hope the world isn't reliant on Python in 20 years. For that to happen then we need to start working on a better Python today.

End Rant

Thanks for listening to my rant. Criticism and nitpicks aren't wrong, but miss the point. Truthiness > Truth