What is Python?

What is Python?

Here is the Python logo

It is very interesting that you should ask a question like this…

Python is a super popular high level language in the current times, 2019. Universities teach the language, programming gurus preach it, meaning there are plenty of ways to learn it. Its popularity makes most Python code Googlable and many companies use it for various fields like data analytics, machine learning and miscellaneous app development.

But, what does high-level mean?

I will start by explaining what I mean by high-level. For any language to be high it means it is readily understandable. For it to be low that means it is difficult to understand. I am Hispanic from a spanish family so Spanish as a language is a high-level language because of my background. But Chinese is a low-level language for me because of my lack of experience with languages that use symbols.

For a programming language to be high-level that means it is readily understood by humans. That is really all it means. Low-level means difficult and that’s the end of that for now(there is other stuff we won’t get into).

Now, why is it popular? In a nutshell Python is popular because it is easy to understand, powerful, readable among many other things which make it very programmer friendly. This means the learning curve is not too steep.

In addition the language is portable. Python code can be run on any device. But how? We could go slightly deep into that but I will give you the gist.

But how is Python portable?

You know how your PC comes with an Operating System(OS)? You know how a different OS can be installed on a different PC? That OS is considered an environment. Sort of like how the jungle is one environment and the desert is another. We can imagine Windows 10 to be the jungle and Windows Vista to be the desert, okay?

But is this environment in reality or in cyber fantasy? So instead of calling it a “real” environment we call it a “virtual environment”. This means each environment is its own beast or biome like the jungle or desert.

Now imagine within the desert you have an oasis or within the jungle you have a sanctified lake. This would be an environment within an environment right? It is a whole new world to operate! Well guess what, that is what Python has. It is something called a Python Virtual Environment(PVM).

Like the OS is an environment within the PC so the PVM is an environment within the OS where are Python code will live. It is an operating system for Python.

Why do I see multiple versions of Python on Google?

Python is constantly being improved. There are quite a few versions and many of them are not compatible with each other. Loads of Python 2 code is incompatible with Python 3 code. To re-use other people’s code you may have to switch between Python 2 & Python 3.