I continue to be impressed by Python. I needed to write a script to process data files generated from my thesis research and produce some plots with gnuplot. I started looking at the gnuplot batch documentation, but it wasn’t at all clear how to process multiple files (given on the command line) with a gnuplot batch file. It was actually faster to get Gnuplot.py and install it and write the script in Python than it was to figure out if or how it was possible to do it directly in gnuplot.
Jim Bednar and I have decided to use Python as the scripting language for Topographica, after strongly considering using PLT Scheme. Both languages have a lot to recommend them, but the thing that really turned it for us was library support. Python seems to have a library for everything, and they all seem to be easy to install and use.
If I can find the time, I’m thinking of writing a long entry on why Python is a good replacement for Lisp as an AI language. Comparisons between the two have been discussed a lot, but that’s not exactly what I’m talking about. Python is not Lisp, but, like Lisp, it has many features that make it good for experimentation with computational hypotheses. It may actually be better suited than Lisp for investigating modern, non-symbolic AI concepts. But I’ll save that discussion for another time.