Python is a programming language I admire. I wouldn't say it's problem free, but certain aspects of it are definitely worth all this attention. After I started to learn Ruby, I've found Python even better suited to build larger tools. Python is cleaner, faster, more extensible.
There is several projects around Python that create new applications for this well stabilized language. Most of worth mentioning here are:
- PyPy Python Just-In-Time compiler written in Python,
- Cython variant of language intended to write extensions and optimising static compiler,
- Boost.Python library for integrating Python into applications written in C++.
- SciPy bundle of tools and extensions to convert Python into scientific calculation machinery.
Standalone Python itself can be pretty powerful tool on its own, but can join forces with another world - strongly typed compilable languages like Java, C, C++. There are rich libraries available for Python, my favourite one is:
For many years Python is perceived as an important language and the demand is growing. Lot of programmers converted from Perl to Python in last couple years and I observe some tendency to convert from PHP as well. Certainly there is huge amount of PHP projects that will remain in PHP, but for new project there is preference to Python over PHP. I think PHP still carries too much legacy luggage from times when it was technology intended to intermix HMTL na PHP code in single files. Like requirement for starting every PHP source file with "<%" tag. All Python based tools for web separate logic from view from beginning, intermixing was never possible without using some tricky template engines.
Python has strong position among scientists as offers a lot for quick problem solving. Empowered by NumPy and SciPy, which delivers fast vector and array implementation allows to quickly implement simulations or similar calculations. There are interesting application of these altogether with IPython, which is interactive variant of Python that can do much more that is available from classic shell including rich visualizations.