What is Python?

Python is a Programming Language

Started by Guido van Rossum in 1990 as a way to write software for the Amoeba operating system. Influenced by ABC, which was designed to be easy to learn. It is also very useful for large programs written by expert programmers.

The word "Python" comes from the comedy troupe "Monty Python." Words and jokes from the skits and movies appear often in Python software, including "spam," "idle," and "grail."

Python Properties

  1. Interpreted Language
  2. Interactive mode
  3. Imperative and "Object-Oriented"
  4. Cross-platform
  5. Doesn't try to guess what you mean
  6. Great for team projects
  7. Popular for web applications, testing, and XML
  8. Extremely popular for chemical informatics (but not so much in bioinformatics)

Other Languages Used in Bioinformatics

C, C++
Compiled languages, hence very fast.
Used for computation (BLAST, FASTA, Phred, Phrap, ClustalW)
Not very forgiving.

Interpreted, fully object-oriented language.
Built into web browsers.
Supposed to be cross-platform, but not quite yet.
(Jython is an implementation of Python for Java)

Interpreted, fully object-oriented language.
Rich set of libraries.
Complex syntax.
Most widely used high-level language in bioinformatics.
This page based on What is Perl?.
Andrew Dalke
Last modified: Tue Feb 3 11:06:36 SAST 2004