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Borland Community: Snake charming - Python squishes problems little by little

Jul 09, 2000, 17:12 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Juancarlo AƱez)

"Today I spent the whole afternoon with a snake. I've known Python for several years now -- the oldest version of Python on my hard drive is v. 1.3, dated March 1996 -- and I've studied and played with the language several times. But it wasn't until today that I actually tried to do something useful with it."

"The task at hand? I wanted to lay out the articles I've written during the last couple of months in an HTML format that is consistent with that of the rest of my Web site. My site is a modest one, and producing the few pages of HTML in it is fairly easy, even by hand. But doing the same formatting for a dozen or so articles (and the many more to come), even with a WISIWYG editor, is the kind of task that makes us lazy programmers start thinking about a better way: writing a program."

"Figuring out that the formatting of the articles had to be automated was the easy part. Deciding on how to automate the process was more difficult. It's not that I lacked a tool to do the job, but rather that I didn't know the right tool to use. One of the mantras of programming is "When in doubt, start hacking," so I did. After some experimenting with Perl, SED, and AWK, I remembered Python, a programming language often touted as capable of accomplishing everything easily. I hacked my way out of this problem with Python, and I wasn't disappointed."

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