The other day I was reading an August issue of my favorite magazine, Linux Journal. On page 17 there is a list of the ten most popular articles off all-time on LinuxJournal.com. At the #1 is article written by Eric Raymond, titled Why Python?.
I was pleasantly surprised. It’s precisely this article that ended my ultimate quest for scripting language back in 2004. Frankly, I was sick of Microsoft WSH that I was using back then; besides I needed scripting language that could run equally well on Windows & Linux (support for other major flavors of Unix would be a plus) and with solid support for various text processing/parsing functions, that could allow me to “glue” together some tasks related to ETL (mostly DBA stuff).
I spent considerable amount of the first half of year 2004 evaluating various scripting languages — somehow skipping python at first (can’t remember why I dismissed python so quickly). Since I knew that Perl has strong parsing capabilities (regular expressions etc.), it was this language that I used to “benchmark” all others against.
Perl could probably pass my evaluation if only the written code would not look so wacky (with all due respect to Perl community) – then one day Google returned link to the article written by Eric Raymond, “Why Python?”. It was revealing experience reading this article. I downloaded and installed python immediately after I finished with the article, browsed the manuals and when I saw some code examples, I thought: what a beauty (sorry if it sounds too geeky)! It was love at first sight, I knew I was hooked for life. Since then, I never looked back, python is my favorite scripting language. The only thing I really regret is that I didn’t “find” the python earlier in my career. What a pity!