Chapter 41. All Good Things

Welcome to the end of the book! Now that you’ve made it this far, I want to say a few words in closing about Python’s evolution before turning you loose on the software field. This topic is subjective by nature, of course, but vital to all Python users nonetheless.

You’ve now had a chance to see the entire language yourself—including some advanced features that may seem at odds with its scripting paradigm. Though many will understandably accept this as status quo, in an open source project it’s crucial that some ask the “why” questions too. Ultimately, the trajectory of the Python story—and its true conclusion—is at least in part up to you.

The Python Paradox

If you’ve read this book, or reasonable subsets of it, you should now be able to weigh Python’s tradeoffs fairly. As you’ve seen, Python is a powerful, expressive, and even fun programming language, which will serve as an enabling technology for wherever you choose to go next. At the same time, you’ve also seen that today’s Python is something of a paradox: it has expanded to incorporate tools that many consider both needlessly redundant and curiously advanced—and at a rate that appears to be only accelerating.

For my part, as one of Python’s earliest advocates, I’ve watched it morph over the years from simple to sophisticated tool, with a steadily shifting scope. By most measures, it seems to have grown at least as complex as other languages that drove many of us to Python in the first place. And just ...

Get Learning Python, 5th Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.