There are countless articles written about which programming language is the best; usually ending with the conclusion that they’re all great, and you just need to choose which you’re most comfortable with.
Whilst I agree with that sentiment to some extent, I’m still interested in the question of whether any one language is better for a specific purpose, for example, for web development.
What is Python?
Credited to Guido van Rossum in the late ‘80s, Python is one of the most popular high-level languages for programmers. It is designed to be both readable and accessible. Python can create a program in fewer lines than C++ or Java, thus providing clear programs, small and large.
Python supports object-orientated, imperative, functional and procedural programming paradigms because of its elegant design and simple syntax; making it particular suitable for projects with more than a single programmer.
Python and the Web
Because of its popularity, Python is used extensively on the Web. Python is used in Yahoo Maps, Linux Weekly News, Shopzilla, and Ultraseek, to name a few, but there are plenty more uses:
WSGI or Web Server Gateway Interface is a standard interface connecting web servers and web app frameworks. WSGI allows Portable Python Web Codes through behavior standardization and communication between the server and the frameworks, deployed on WSGI-compliant servers.
Web frameworks are sets of libraries and handlers that allow you to use custom codes to create web applications like interactive websites. They often include patterns in order to attain things like URL routing and Request and Response Objects.
Django is one of the high-level web frameworks that uses Python for developing high-performance apps. First created by an online news operation, Django handles intensive newsroom deadlines and the tough requirements of its developers. Django is popular for pushing a clean, rapid and pragmatic design.
The advantages of Python
Companies like JP Morgan and Bank of America use Python in many of their systems, and it’s for a good reason; the language is relatively short compared to its rivals, meaning it is easier to debug, and develop.
Python has been used by YouTube since 2007 for scalability. They state that the language enables flexibility because it can extend from different industries for different usages. You can use it in websites and web apps, system administrations, VOIP applications and desktop software. Its flexibility allows Python to be used for rapid development of different types of applications.
The language is simple to learn because its syntax resembles pseudo code. You can quickly do something without wasting too much time and effort on a steep learning curve. All you need is to learn the language and from there, start coding. (Of course practice makes you better.)
And because it is simple and straightforward, the language encourages positive programming traits.
Should you be using Python for web development?
The short answer is, yes.
Python will improve your overall programming skills. Its consistency, clean code, and philosophies borrowed from functional programming make it a pleasure to work with.
Also, because Python has a fully loaded library and an active community you’ll have no problem working with things you don’t understand.
Python does need specialist hosting, which can cost a little more. And Python developers aren’t as in-demand as PHP, .Net, or Java developers are.
However, the negatives are outweighed by the positives, and Python is an elegant language whose beauty, clarity and functionality make it a pleasure to work with.