Other Languages

Many other popular (and not-so-popular) languages are available for Linux. For the most part, however, these work identically on Linux as on other Unix systems, so there’s not much in the way of news there. There are also so many of them that we can’t cover them in much detail here. We do want to let you know what’s out there, however, and explain some of the differences between the various languages and compilers.

Python has gained a lot of attention lately because it is a powerful mixture of different programming paradigms and styles. For example, it is one of the very few interpreted object-oriented programming languages (Perl being another example, but only relatively late in its existence). Python fans say it is especially easy to learn. Python was written and designed almost entirely by Guido van Rossum, who chose the name because he wrote the interpreter while watching reruns of the British TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The language is introduced in Learning Python by Mark Lutz and David Ascher and covered in detail in Programming Python by Mark Lutz (both published by O’Reilly).

As nice and useful as Perl is, it has one disadvantage — or at least many people think so — namely, that you can write the same code in many different ways. This has given Perl the reputation that it’s easy to write code in Perl, but hard to read it. (The point is that another programmer might do things differently from you, and you are therefore not used to reading this ...

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