> I suggest that Perl devotees check out Python before spending much time
> in development of Perl admin scripts. Python addresses a larger problem
> set than Perl, it's more readable and easier to maintain, and it supports
> an object-oriented paradigm. It also promises to subsume the role of
I've checked out Python. It's interesting, but I think it's not as well-
suited as Perl for a few reasons:
1) It's overkill. Do we really need OO system administration? OO
is really best suited for large software projects and code reuse.
Nor do I need an X interface in my sysadmin scripts, although there
are probably others who disagree.
2) It's not as widely used nor as widely known. A lot of people know
Perl. Almost any good sysadmin has written a perl script or two
(this is meant as no slight on those who haven't). Also, perl
builds upon previous language knowledge, such as C, sed, awk, sh,
etc. People who are used to programming in those paradigms need
not change much to write Perl. As a corollary, scripts written
in those languages convert rather easily to Perl (in some cases,
they are machine translated, e.g. a2p, s2p, find2perl).
3) It's not really as convenient for system administration tasks.
Perl's high semantic density and more integral string operations
are more useful for the way I program sysadmin scripts.
4) Perl is already a package, whether it's required or not. Python
is a new quantity, and I'm not sure it would be useful for most
people except as a way to run the sysadmin scripts.
All that said, I think Python is an interesting language. I think it
has a bright future. Although Perl5 provides many of the advantages of
the OO way, it won't be as fundamental a part of the language as
Python's is. For example, Python's iters are very nice. On the other
hand, Python is indentation sensitive; all blocks are indicated by
indents and outdents. Those of you who don't use Emacs will be at
a great disadvantage to those of us who do; there is an Emacs mode
available for Python that attempts to make the indentation behave
sensibly. I'd rather he just used braces, but that's his choice.
As for it "subsuming" tcl/tk, try saying that on comp.lang.tcl :-)
tcl/tk are both very much alive and well, and growing very fast.
I just wish tcl had been designed a little differently.
Those of us in the U.S. interested in trying out Python might
want to check the mirrors listed below and save our transcontinental
brothers some bandwidth.
gatekeeper.dec.com 126.96.36.199 /pub/plan/python/cwi
ftp.uu.net 188.8.131.52 /languages/python
ftp.wustl.edu 184.108.40.206 /graphics/graphics/sgi-stuff/python
For a quick look at Python, use your handy WWW client.
==> All Python documentation is accessible on-line using Mosaic or
other World-Wide-Web browsers. Point your browser to
http://www.cwi.nl/~guido/Python.html and start from there (also
for quicker access to the source!).