Python is a high-level programming language that is becoming popular day by day in the past years. Launched in 1991, it has gradually become one of the most used languages in the world due to its unique features like ease of use, readability and the ability to be molded in any environment.
Python is used in many fields of research most popularly in data science and machine learning along with scientific data computing. Many companies including Google, NASA, etc. have adopted it as their primary programming language.
In this blog, we will learn about the pros and cons of using the Python language, and decide who can be the most suitable users of this language.
PROS OF PYTHON
Comprehensive: Python is an ideal language for beginners as it has a simple and easy-to-understand syntax, making it an ideal language for beginners who want to learn programming. It uses indentations and white spaces to represent a block of code making it clear and easy to read.
Active Community and Vast Documentation: The Python language comprises a large community of developers who provide resources like tutorials and documentation which makes it easy for other developers to get guidance whenever they face challenges or need guidance.
Adaptability and Flexibility: Python is a versatile language that adapts easily to different environments, showcasing flexibility for smooth development, such as for data analysis and machine learning, scientific computing, etc. For example, Django and NumPy.
Libraries and Modules: Developers have a huge range of libraries and modules available that make it easier for them to create complex applications with the help of the Python language. For instance, HTTP requests can be made through the requests library, and so on.
Easy Integration: Python can work simultaneously with other languages making it interoperable and easy to integrate with other systems such as C, C++, etc.
Compatibility: The applications developed with Python can run on different platforms such as Windows, Linux, MacOS, etc. which increases code reusability for developers making it easier for them to make applications for different platforms.
Scalability: Python can easily handle large projects and complex applications, making it the most in-demand language. Moreover, it can be extended through integration with third-party systems.
Strong Data Analyzation Capacity: Python contains huge libraries for data analysis and detailed visualization such as NumPy, Matplotlib, etc.
CONS OF PYTHON
Slower Compared to Other Languages: Python is comparatively slower than other languages as it is an interpreted language rather than compiled, unlike languages like C and C++ which slows down its performance for tasks that are intensive like machine learning.
However, it can be optimized through the libraries and modules available or by implementing algorithms in other lower-level languages like C.
Global interpreter lock (GIL) limitation: The Global Interpreter Lock (GIL) is a limitation in Python that prevents multiple threads from running Python bytecode at the same time.
This can limit performance when multiple threads are competing for CPU time. Although the GIL can be bypassed by using multiple processes instead of threads, this can add overhead and complexity to the code.
The GIL is a replacement that was designed to make it easier to write thread-safe Python code, but it can limit performance at some points.
Poor memory management: Python’s memory management can be a limitation for intensive tasks that require memory, such as processing large datasets or building complex applications.
Python uses automatic memory management, which means that the interpreter automatically assigns and absolves memory as needed.
However, over time, this may lead to memory leaks or displacement, which can impair stability and impede performance.
Developers need to be careful to avoid memory leaks and manage memory usage in large-scale Python applications.
Limited performance for CPU-bound tasks: Python’s performance can be limited for CPU-bound tasks, such as scientific computing or machine learning.
This is because Python’s interpreter has some upheld that can slow down performance compared to compiled languages.
However, several ways to optimize Python code for CPU-bound tasks exist, such as using specific libraries like NumPy or enforcing algorithms in C or other low-level languages.
No built-in support for parallel processing: Python lacks built-in parallel processing capacity, which can obstruct the performance of applications that require handling huge volumes of data concurrently.
Although there are third-party libraries that can provide parallel processing, they can add challenges to the code.
One needs to be careful in designing their code for efficient parallel processing and choose the appropriate libraries and tools for their use case.
The steep learning curve for some advanced topics: The learning curve for some complex concepts in Python, such as concurrency or parallelism, may be rather high.
A thorough grasp of Python’s internal and system-level programming may be necessary for these subjects.
Python’s high-level abstractions make creating straightforward code easy, but they also make it challenging to comprehend how the code operates.
Developers must be ready to invest time and effort in learning these difficult concepts to take full advantage of Python’s capabilities.
Limited capabilities for low-level system programming: Python’s ability for low-level system development may be constrained since it is a high-level language that abstracts many low-level aspects.
As a result, writing code that interacts directly with low-level system elements or hardware may be challenging.
Although Python offers a large number of libraries and system programming tools, it might not be a suitable option for applications that need low-level access to system components. Other languages, such as C or Assembly, could be a better fit in such circumstances.
In this blog, we learned about the benefits that Python offers such as easy readability, comprehensiveness, flexibility, versatility, and so on, which makes it an excellent programming language for building complex cross-platform applications and data analysis and visualization.
However, with its limitations developers must be aware of extending its capabilities to make the most out of it.
Python is a great choice for beginners in programming, data analysts, web developers, etc. Also, developers who prioritize fast prototyping, readability, and maintenance of their code should consider Python.
Overall, Python is easy to learn and use, and developers can benefit from it when working on a wide range of projects.