Advantages and Disadvantages of Python – Make a Favorable Decision
There are a multitude of programming languages available for application development. Each has its specific features, pros, and cons. Python is one of the most favored and widely used programming languages today. It tops the list of popular programming languages, according to the TIOBE Index for May 2023.
Besides app development, Python has applications in web development, data analysis, data visualization, and task automation. This language is among the one that holds relevance in the present and has a high potential in the future. Its simple syntax, simplicity to learn and code, and extensive standard library have made it the most preferred programming language among developers and data professionals.
Since it was founded in 1991 by Guido Van Rossum, Python's reach has grown daily, with several multinationals using it for development activities. While that says a lot about it, Python has a few downsides, often making application developers prefer other languages.
Through this post, we aim to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of Python. This will help you determine whether the language fits your next project well. But before that, let us highlight why developers should use Python.
Why Use Python?
Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language primarily focusing on code readability. The syntax is straightforward, with simple English keywords. It eliminates the use of delimiters, like semicolons and brackets. Instead, it uses whitespace indentation to separate code blocks.
Here are some significant reasons developers use Python:
1. Readable and Maintainable Code
As discussed above, Python syntax is straightforward and has no complex structures, like C++ or Java. Also, it emphasizes code readability by using English keywords and eliminating the need for delimiters. This makes Python code easy to read and understand.
In addition, you need to write fewer lines of source code to develop applications than in other languages. Hence, developers can easily update and maintain code, saving time and effort.
2. Supports Multiple Programming Paradigms
Python supports object-oriented, procedural, and functional programming paradigms. The object-oriented programming approach facilitates code reusability, extensibility, and modularity using its concepts – abstraction, polymorphism, encapsulation, and inheritance. The functional programming paradigm helps developers write clearer and more bug-resistant code.
3. Extensive Standard Library
The extensive, robust library is an advantage for Python over other programming languages. It consists of multiple packages and modules to enhance the functionality of your Python application. You can import the required library into your code and accomplish a specific task without writing the code for it.
For instance, if you want to implement web services while developing a web application, you can simply import the corresponding library into the code.
4. High Compatibility
Python is compatible with various operating systems. Being a cross-platform and portable language, developers can run the same code, written in one platform, on other platforms without any changes.
5. Simplify Complex Software Development
The straightforward syntax and extensive library simplify complex software development. Also, it is well-known for developing scientific and numeric applications. You can also find many Python libraries for data analysis and visualization.
6. Multiple Open-Source Frameworks and Tools
Python is an open-source language that helps developers significantly reduce development costs. Several open-source Python frameworks, libraries, and other development tools are also available, helping developers curtail development time.
Some popular open-source Python frameworks for web development include Django, Flask, Pyramid, Bottle, and CherryPy. A few widely used open-source Python GUI libraries are PyQT, PyJs, PyGUI, Kivy, and wxPython.
7. Test-Driven Development
Python makes test-driven development (TDD) easy and quick. It lets developers write code and test it simultaneously. The TDD approach enables developers to create test cases before writing the source code.
Popular Applications of Python
Let us now peek into some popular uses of the Python language.
- Web Server Programming: Developers can perform server-side programming through Python libraries like Django and Flask.
- Prototyping: The language makes it easy for developers to create quick prototypes of applications.
- Game Development: It is widely used for developing games with the help of GUI libraries.
- Data Science and Machine Learning: Python is the most commonly used language in machine learning and data science. It has libraries for data manipulation, data visualization, data cleaning, and other data-related tasks.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Python
Now you know the reasons for the popularity of Python and its major use cases. We will now walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of Python.
Key Advantages of Python Programming Language
Let's look at some prominent Python advantages that make it easy for developers to work with.
1. Easy to Read and Learn
Python is a simple language to read and learn. It doesn't have complex syntax like other high-level languages such as C or C++. Thanks to lesser complexity, the language allows you to focus on logic building rather than the syntax structure.
2. Reduces Maintenance Cost
Owing to its simplicity, Python makes application maintenance easier. Thus, it reduces the costs involved, which is a massive advantage.
3. Avoid the Harm of Software Bugs
Python doesn't let a code bug initiate a segmentation fault within the application. Due to this, it is considered to be a preferred language.
4. Wide Applicability
Another essential feature of this language is that it is widely applicable. Engineers, scientists, and mathematicians broadly use it.
5. Easy Memory Management
Python has a vast library with memory management capabilities, making it stand out from the other programming languages. It includes a private heap containing all Python objects and data structures and a built-in memory manager to maintain this private heap.
6. Large Community
The Python community provides rapid support to users. If you face any difficulty during Python development, community members are always up to help you and solve your queries.
Some experts give Python the moniker "ready-to-run language" because it only requires simple code to be executed. The language makes writing and testing code much more comfortable.
7. Asynchronous Coding
Asynchronous coding uses a single event loop to complete a job in small intervals. Python simplifies writing asynchronous code. It doesn't require complex research contentions, deadlocks, or any other complexity.
8. Integration with Other Languages
Python has libraries like Cython and Jython, which allow integration with other languages like C, C++, and Java to enable cross-platform development. This is one of the main perks of Python. No language is perfect, and sometimes development requires diverse functionalities that are impossible to have in one language.
Being a portable language, developers do not need to tweak Python code to make it run on platforms other than the one it is written on. The language follows the “Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA)” feature. The only thing to remember is not to incorporate any system-dependent features.
10. Enterprise Application Integration
Python is the best choice for Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). It simplifies web application development, invoking CORBA or COM components, and direct calling to and from Java/C++/C.
Moreover, it offers reliable process control features and implementation of Internet data formats and protocols. Further, Python helps users in processing markup languages like XL, executes through the same byte code on advanced operating systems, and can be utilized as a scripting language.
Phew! That was quite an exhaustive list of Python advantages. Now, let us see the other side of the coin.
Disadvantages of Python Programming Language
Along with several pros, the language has some limitations in performance and security. Let us discuss them below.
1. Slow Execution Speed
Python is an interpreted language that works with an interpreter, not a compiler. As a result, the interpreter executes code relatively slower than a compiler. Hence, the language has a slower execution speed than compiled languages like Java and C++.
2. Large Memory Consumption
Python's data structures demand more memory space. It is not suitable to use for development under limited memory restrictions.
3. Not suitable for Mobile and Game Development
The language is mainly used in desktop and web server-side development. It is not considered ideal for mobile app and game development due to more memory consumption and slow processing speed.
4. Addiction to Easy Coding
Once a developer gets used to the ease and simplicity of this language, it becomes difficult for them to switch back to other languages.
5. Database Access
Python is considered highly insecure and involves security risks. There are some limitations to using Python to access databases.
Compared to other popular technologies such as JDBC and ODBC, the Python database access layer is a little underdeveloped and primitive. It is, therefore, not considered suitable if developers are looking for a smooth interaction of complex legacy data.
6. Design Restrictions
One of the significant issues of the language is its design restrictions. The reason behind this constraint is that Python is dynamically typed. Developers do not need to define the data types of variables. The Python interpreter automatically interprets the data type of a variable based on the value assigned to it. This results in runtime errors.
There you have it – an unbiased and precise evaluation of Python.
Python Advantages and Disadvantages
Undoubtedly, Python is a widely used programming language ideal for software and web (server-side) application development. Besides, it has immense applications in data science and machine learning. The simple syntax, code readability, and extensive standard library make it a go-to language, even for beginners.
From the above advantages and disadvantages of Python, we can conclude that the advantages of Python can overcome its disadvantages.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can Python libraries be used in coding interviews?
The use of Python libraries in coding interviews entirely depends on the interviewers and the company’s policies. Companies prohibiting the use of libraries may want to validate candidates’ coding and problem-solving skills.
2. Who developed Python?
Guido Van Rossum in 1991 developed Python.
3. Where is Python used in real life?
Web development, software development, data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and web scraping are real-world applications of Python.
4. What is unique about Python?
The straightforward syntax that eliminates the complex structure and an extensive standard library are unique Python features.
5. What are three facts about Python?
Three facts about Python are:
- It was a hobby project.
- Guido Van Rossum names the language ‘Python’, as he was the biggest fan of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
- The language supports multiple assignments in a single statement.
6. What is the most important thing in Python?
The most important thing in Python is its simplicity and ease of use.