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So I’ve been grinding away at Python on a regular basis and I have a few small observations on the continuing differences.

Python Methods Require ()

When you code in Ruby you are never quite sure if something is a method or a variable (or in an ActiveRecord context, an attribute). In Python everything that is a method requires () – even if there are no arguments. So this means that you type:

quit()

and not

quit

unless, of course, you are using iPython (the equivalent of IRB + awesome print) in which case it automagically adds the damn parentheses.

The bottom line here is that Python makes it simpler than Ruby to know when something is a method instead of a variable. Is that a good thing? I’m really, really not sure; I can certainly see complexities in a meta programming context.

String Interpolation

Ruby’s #{} string interpolation is damn magical – it just works in every context where you use a string. Apparently this is a very, very new concept to Python, having only arrived in Python 3.6:

skill = "beginner"
puts "Scott is a #{skill}"
skill = "beginner"
print(f"Scott is a {skill}")

This is called a Python f string and only started working this way in 3.6 at least according to Stack Overflow.

Pulling exactly from the Stack Overflow article, I learned this.

“Prior to 3.6, the closest you can get to this is:”

name = "Spongebob Squarepants"
print("Who lives in a Pineapple under the sea? %(name)s." % locals())

“The % operator can be used for string interpolation in Python. The first operand is the string to be interpolated, the second can have different types including a “mapping”, mapping field names to the values to be interpolated. Here I used the dictionary of local variables locals() to map the field name name to its value as a local variable.”

TOOWTDI or There’s Only One Way to Do It

I’ve always known about TOOWTDI being sort of the python philosophy and as I dive into Python, I’m finding that really not to be the case anymore (if it ever was). I find this to be particularly true with respect to packaging and the third party ecosystem related to Python.

A Pythonic Aside

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The Python community is very big on the term Pythonic as a way to indicate that you are doing it the right, the pythonic way. My 18 year old son has been watching me learn Python (and picking up a few tips along the way) and he made the observation that the Python community saying Pythonic is like Aquaman in Batman the Brave and the Bold saying Outrageous! (very end of the linked clip).

Outrageous