Updated June 15, 2023
Introduction to Benefits and Limitations of Using Python
Python is considered easy to learn and runs almost anywhere. It is helpful for several applications, including education, data analytics, and web development. Some of the biggest companies in the world rely on Python extensively, including Instagram and Google.
Python is a dynamic, object-oriented (OO) programming language that can be compared to Microsoft. NET-based languages, or Java, as a general-purpose substrate for several software development kinds. It strongly supports integrating several technologies and higher programming productivity across the development life cycle. It is particularly suited for large and complex projects with changing requirements.
Python is also one of the fastest-growing open-source programming languages used in mission-critical applications for the world’s largest stock exchange. It also forms the base for various high-end publication websites, runs on several million cell phones, and is used across industries such as air traffic control, feature-length movie animation, and shipbuilding.
Let’s start on a positive note and discuss the advantages of this prolific programming language.
Benefits of Using Python
Given below are the benefits of using Python:
#1 Ease of use and read
Most Python programmers would agree that Python’s biggest advantage is that it is easy to pick up. Ease of use and easy readability is more than just a convenience. It can also benefit the users of your program. Easy usability helps you think more clearly when you write programs and others who have to enhance or maintain them.
Experts and beginners can easily understand the code, and you can quickly become productive with this language since it has fewer ‘dialects’ than other popular languages like Perl. Since its source code resembles the pseudo-code, it is also simple to learn. As soon as you start learning, you can start coding effectively almost immediately.
Writing a program in Python takes less than using other languages like Java or C++. This is also rather popular among academia, resulting in a large talent pool. It is considered a very productive way of writing code, and some of this comes from its readability and simple syntax. Some come from its well-designed and rich inbuilt capabilities and standard library and the availability of several third-party open-source modules and libraries.
Since it is easy to understand, it is also easy to maintain. The language’s dynamic flexibility, typing, and less verbose code compared to other languages are notable attributes. But this dynamic typing could also play out as a disadvantage, which we will discuss later.
#2 Straightforward and speedy
The Python community offers fast and effective support to users, and hundreds of thousands of developers work hard to find and fix bugs and develop new patches and enhancements to the language. It also offers fast feedback in many ways. For one, programmers can skip various tasks that would have to be done in other languages. This reduces the time and cost of each program and the maintenance required. It also permits fast adaptation of code. Developers can describe the language as ready-to-run, requiring simple code execution. Playing around and testing your code becomes much simpler with the language, offering a bottom-up development style to easily construct your application by testing key functions in the interpreter before you start writing top-level code.
The interpreter is easily extensible, allowing you to embed C code with a simple compiled extension module. It motivates program reusability, too, with packages and modules. Several modules are already available with the standard library, essential for Python distribution. You can share the functionality between different programs by breaking them into several modules.
The language can run on multiple systems while maintaining a consistent interface, and its design remains relatively unchanged across different operating systems due to being written in portable ANSI C. This means you can easily write Python on a Mac, test it on a Linux system, and upload it to a Windows computer.
#3 Usability with IoT
The Internet of Things or IoT has opened up huge opportunities, and it can play a key role in you utilizing these opportunities. The language is becoming a popular choice for IoT, with new platforms like the Raspberry Pi being based on it. The documentation for Raspberry P states that the language is easy to use and powerful.
#4 Asynchronous coding
It has proven to be quite effective for writing asynchronous code, which utilizes a single event loop for doing work in small units rather than writing up uses. It is easier to write and maintain without confusing research contention, deadlocks, or other issues. These generators are beneficial for interleaving and running several processing loops.
#5 A less limited programming approach
Compared to Java, it uses a much less limited multi-paradigm programming approach. For instance, you do not have to create a separate OO class for printing ‘Hello World’ in Python, but you do have to do it in Java. It is multi-paradigm and supports functional, procedural, and object-oriented programming styles. In Python, anything and everything can be an object. You can write applications in the language using several programming paradigms and still write crisp, clear, and understandable OO code.
#6 Enterprise application integration
It is a great choice for a programming language that includes Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). It makes developing web development services easier, invoking CORBA or COM components and directly calling from and to Java, C++, or C code. It provides significant process control features and implements common internet data formats and protocols, processing markup languages such as XL, running from the same byte code on modern operating systems. You can embed it as a scripting language.
#7 Its use in web development
Various applications extensively utilize Python for web development. It is suitable for high-end web application development and simple CGI scripting. Large-scale frameworks such as TurboGears and Django also utilize Python. Other examples of Python’s use in web development include the Quixote web application framework, Plone content management system, and Zope application server. You can easily create your solution using Python’s easy-to-use and extensive standard libraries. Python provides interfaces for most databases, works well with other web development technologies, and features powerful document and text processing facilities.
#8 Its use in scientific and numeric applications
You can use Python’s imaging library, MayaVi, VTK 3D visualization toolkits, and other tools like Scientific and Numeric Python to develop numeric and scientific applications. Enthought Python Distribution (EPD) can also support many of these applications.
#9 Application scripting and software testing
Python’s strong integration with Java and C, and C++ makes it very useful for application scripting. It was designed from the beginning to be embeddable and can be a great choice for a scripting language for customizing or extending larger applications. Its strong text processing and integration capabilities can also be used for extensive software testing. It even comes with its very own unit-testing framework. It can also be utilized for developing high-end GUI desktop applications. You can use open technologies to deploy your application across most operating systems. Support for other GUI frameworks such as Motif, X11, Delphi, Carbon, and MFC are also available.
#10 Python’s use in prototyping and open-source advantage
Prototyping in Python is rather easy and quick, resulting in the development of the final system in several cases. Since Python is rather agile, you can easily refactor code for rapid development from the prototype to the final product. Python’s open-source nature is also a huge advantage. Due to its nature, Python is widely recognized for being well-designed, scalable, portable, robust, and fast. Its syntax is easy to pick up and has uncluttered and well-developed advanced language features. In many ways, it exceeds the features and capabilities of other commercially available comparable solutions.
Python’s open-source license also allows unrestricted modification, redistribution, and use of the language and applications based on it. The availability of the full source and the absence of licensing costs make it a huge cost saver. Support is freely available through online resources.
#11 Server-side scripting
Many consider it to be a strong server-side scripting language. Its code resembles pseudo-code like other scripting languages and has no rich or complicated syntax. They built it so that you can focus less on what command you want to use and instead on your application’s business rules.
#12 Portability and interactivity
Another huge benefit of Python is its portability and interactivity, making it much easier to learn. It provides dynamic semantics and rapid prototyping capabilities. People often consider it a glue language, connecting disparate existing components. It is highly embeddable in applications, even those using other programming languages. This makes it possible for you to fix new modules to Python and extend its core vocabulary.
Limitations of Using Python
As you can see, Python has huge benefits. But it has its fair share of limits too. Here is a look at them:
Speed, or the lack of it, can be a major issue. Since it is an interpreted language, Python can be slower than other compiled languages. However, this brings us back to the separation of language from runtime. Some benchmarks of Python run faster than the equivalent of C or other coding languages. Critics have previously criticized the slow speed of execution in Python, but developers have addressed this concern to some extent by introducing optimized packages in the past few years. Still, Python can be slower in some ways than languages like C++ and C and newer ones like Go.
#2 Lack of mobile computing and browsers
It is strong on desktop and server platforms but weak on mobile platforms. Developers have developed only a few smartphone apps using Python, and the language is not commonly used in the client side of web development applications.
The language is also not present in web development browsers. The primary reason for this is that it is difficult to secure. There is still a lack of a good secure sandbox for the language, and some programmers consider it difficult to impossible for the standard implementation, Python.
#3 Design restrictions
Even the biggest Python fans agree that certain language design restrictions are necessary due to its dynamic typing. This requires more testing and errors to turn up only during runtime. The language’s global interpreter lock means that just one thread can access Python internals anytime.
#4 Package maturity and availability
There is a lack of Python counterparts for several Matlab toolboxes. The development of many of these toolboxes, modules, and packages is still immature, and their support and documentation are inadequate. This expectation is reasonable, considering that the community of volunteers largely drives it, and they may not have the time to document and support every module. Suppose you plan on getting a module or package for Python. In that case, one should always check if the module is actively maintained before developing an application that relies on it. Otherwise, you must develop your patches and workarounds for the code.
We discussed Python’s use in engineering and scientific work briefly. Among modules for such work, matplotlib, SciPy, and NumPy are among the most important. Although SciPy’s documentation can sometimes be unclear or missing, both matplotlib and NumPy are renowned for their comprehensive and well-documented resources. For instance, scipy. Interpolate.LSQUnivariateSpline is used to add a smoothing split for the data, but the documentation does not explain the meaning of the coefficients that the method returns. This can be problematic since the method returns fewer than expected coefficients.
#5 Problems in matplotlib
There are also certain challenges in the matplotlib, a capable non-interactive plotting package. For one, there is a lack of uniformity in interfaces for various methods and functions. As an example, when you generate a text box with the pyplot.annotate function or the axes object’s annotated method; you can use the xycoords keyword to specify if the text location is specified as data coordinates, figure fractional coordinates, or axes fractional coordinates. But this keyword is missing with the pyplot.text function, and only data coordinates can be used to specify the text location, which is generally not what programmers want.
This has been a guide to Benefits and Limitations of Using Python. Here we have discussed the basic concept, with benefits and limitations in a descriptive manner. You may look at the following articles to learn more –