Every passing year witnesses changes in the preferences of programming languages. Some of them get knocked off the perch, while others continue growing. In recent years, two programming languages stand out from the rest and are rapidly growing in popularity. Those two are Swift and Python.
In this article, we will talk about the attributes of Swift and Python, their pros and cons and how they are similar to each other. Read along to know more.
Swift and Python. One is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, object-oriented, functional, imperative and block-structured language while the latter is a widely-used general-purpose, high-level programming language.
Python was originally designed by Guido van Rossum in 1991 and further developed by Python Software Foundation. It was developed to stress code readability along with its syntax enables programmers to code less to express their concepts. It helps coders to speed up the workflow and integrate systems more efficiently. In a survey by Stack Overflow in 2017, Python was the fastest-growing programming language.
This resulted in numerous companies prominently using Python as their programming language, the list including Quora, Netflix, Dropbox, Reddit, Facebook, Spotify, Instagram, etc.
In terms of Python’s usability shown above, Data analysis goes first, followed by web development, machine learning, and DevOps. However, Python is less used for educational purposes, prototyping, and Quality Assurance Services.
Now talking about Swift, it was designed and released in 2014 after conducting fresh research on programming languages and by using a modern approach to safety, software design patterns by Apple Inc. It is a completely new programming language for the iOS application, macOS application, watchOS application, tvOS application. Needless to say, it quickly grew to be one of the top 5 programming languages and became the most used programming language among the Apple developer community within a short span of than 5 years, also effectively replacing the previously used Objective C.
Let us share an important piece of information with you. According to a survey done on the most popular programming languages, Python takes the first spot with overwhelming popularity with a share of 25.36%, whereas Swift is climbing up the ladder at the 9th spot with 2.69% share.
The table is mentioned below:
In this section, we will focus on the criteria that make Python a truly developer-friendly language. As we learnt that Python has its uses in numerous lines of work, we will find out how it ticks the checkboxes of the required criteria.
One of the prime benefits of using Python is that it is simple to code and read. Of course, it is not a repetitive language to follow but is very similar to English and hence is easy to follow. Moreover, Python is a good choice for beginners in programming
It is a programming language that is object-oriented as well as procedural. Its procedural paradigm allows reuse code and object-oriented methodology allows varied inheritances and summarising data and functions as one
As Python is open source, you can download and modify its source code. This versatile feature led to the formation of a strong community that keeps growing stronger
Being an extensible and embeddable language, programmers can easily integrate Python to Java applications, C, and C++
Python is compatible with various platforms. If required, users do not require to change the code before moving the project. to be moved to another platform
Being in the game for a long time, Python boasts having a strong community with a vast range of libraries and frameworks for different purposes. providing programmers with a wide spectrum of opportunities. Additionally, libraries like Pandas, Plotly, NumPy, Pipenv, and others and are included as well. Django, Flask, CherryPy, and PyTorch are.among the most famous frameworks.
With the pros come the cons. There is also the other side of a coin that needs attention. In spite of having a long history in the programming world, Python still has several weak sides.
Python is not a good solution for mobile developers. However, a come-around solution with a few challenges is Kivy - a cross-platform Python framework for developing mobile apps
There are specific design limitations in Python. Being dynamically typed language using duck typing, Python automatically identifies a type of a variable and can cause runtime errors Although it is not frequent, it does make errors at times.
Python consumes high memory and is definitely not a good option to run intensive memory tasks.
Being a relatively new programming language, Swift was launched at the WWDC conference in 2014. According to Apple, the primary features of Swift is that it is fast, modern and interactive. Swift's creator Chris Lattner his creation was a result of ideas inspired by different languages such as C#, Ruby, and especially by Python. That's why we can easily find a couple of similarities between Swift and Python.
Nevertheless, let’s see what the pros and cons of Swift are.
The Swift program codes are based on English as it acquired syntaxes from other programming languages, thus making the language more expressive
More features to Swift, so it is a scalable programming language. Swift has already replaced Objective C and Swift is what Apple is relying on
Swift does not include long lines of code and that favours the developers who want a concise syntax, thus increasing the development and testing rate of the program
Almost 40% better than the Objective-C, Swift is handier to tackle the bugs that lead to safer programming when speed and performance is concerned
This language can handle a wide range of Apple platforms such as iOS, iOS X, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS
This feature prevents memory leaks and helps in optimising the application’s performance that is done by using Automatic Reference Counting.
The updated versions Swift is observed to be a bit unstable with the newer versions of Apple leading to a few issues. Switching to a newer version of Swift is the fix but that is costly
This is relevant to the earlier versions of the Swift programming language
The number of Swift developers is limited as Swift is a new programming language
Developers will be facing delays over their apps written in Swift to be uploaded to the App Store only after iOS 8 and Xcode 6 are released. The estimated time for release is reported to be September-October, 2014.
Swift and Python are predominantly contrasting languages. Despite that, the do possess some common traits. Let’s see what they are.
From the previous discussions in this article, it is crystal clear that Swift and Python are fundamentally different from each other. Apple’s Swift is ideal for developing software for the Apple ecosystem while Python can be utilised for use cases but is mainly applied in back-end development. Moreover, as Apple claims, Swift is 8.4x faster than Python in terms of performance.
Choosing between Swift and Python depends on the intent of the programmer. If the purpose is developing mobile applications that need to work flawlessly in the Apple platforms, then Swift is the ultimate choice. However, if the intentions are to develop artificial intelligence, design a prototype or build the backend, then Python is the one.
So now we see that in fact choosing Python or Swift for coding mostly depends on your purpose. If you are fond of developing mobile applications that will work seamlessly on Apple operating systems, you should definitely choose Swift. Python is good in case you want to develop your own artificial intelligence, build the backend or create a prototype.
There is no hiding the fact that both Swift and Python are good at what they do. While Python has been a game-changer for years, Swift has been rapidly rising up the ranks. Comparing the two directly is a bit unjust as each one of the two has their own uses.
The best person to select the right programming language is you! So be the judge of your decision. Good luck!
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