16 Key Features of Python Programming Language

Basic Introduction to Python

Python is a very high-level, general purpose, open-source, and object-oriented programming language.

Guido van Rossum created it around 1991 at the national research institute for computer science and mathematics in Netherlands.

The source code of Python language is available under the GPL (General Public License).

Python is a very easy to learn and use language with simple syntax, which makes it a perfect language for beginners and professionals.

It is an interpreter-based language. Interpreter is a software program that converts high-level program into low-level program i.e. machine code.

Python is a high level scripting language, whose designed codes are highly readable. Its programs are written using a mixture of English words, punctuation characters, symbols, and numbers. It makes Python code simple to read, write, and understand.

Python provides several striking features and strong community support. It has an extensive collection of built-in modules (i.e. bundle of pre-written codes) and standard libraries to build a variety of applications.

Using Python, we can develop not only computer software but also android and web applications, video games, embedded system programs, search engine, and a lot more.

Professional game programmers also used as a tool it. Disney Interactive Media Group, 2K Games, and Electronic Arts such as companies, all publish video games that incorporate Python.

Besides this, Python also supports object-oriented programming as well as a procedural oriented programming approach.

In the last five years, Python has gained constantly top ranked as one of the most popular programming languages and attracting developers from around the world as well as companies such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, NASA, Netflix, Facebook, Verizon, Xerox, and Yahoo!.

So, let’s look through the key features of Python that make it such a popular and special programming language around the world.

Key Features of Python Language


Python language provides a lot of striking features which make it popular and versatile from the other programming languages. We have listed the following salient features that are as:

Key features of Python programming language

1. Easy to Learn and Use

Python is easy to learn as compared to other programming languages like C, C++, Java. It has a simple structure, a few keywords, and clearly straightforward defined syntax.

There is no use of the semicolon or curly-brackets for defining scope in Python. Its indentation (spaces or tabs) defines the block of code. Therefore, Python programs are easy to read and understand.

Beginners can easily learn the basics of Python and become familiar with its simple syntax. You can write basic programs in a few days. Therefore, we recommend learning Python programming language for beginners.


However, you may take some time to learn advanced concepts and mastering Python. Still, as compared to other programming language like C, C++, Java, it is easy to learn, understand, and write programs.


2. Expressive Language

Python (like Perl) is an expressive language. Its syntax is very easy. We can perform complex tasks by writing a few lines of code in Python as compared to other programming language.

For example, we can print “Hello world!” in Python by just writing one line of code as:

print("Hello world!")

This statement will simply print “Hello world!”. If we want to print “Hello world!” in Java, then we need to write multiple lines of code.

public class HelloWorld {
 public static void main(String[ ] args) {
     System.out.println("Hello world!");
  }
}

As you can observe, we wrote multiple lines of code to just print “Hello world”. To print in C language, we need to write multiple lines of code as:

#include<stdio.h>
void main() {
   printf("Hello world!");
}

3. Interpreted Language

Python is an interpreted based language similar to Perl and PHP. It means its script code is executed one line at a time and not all at once, like in other programming languages.

The line-by-line execution makes it easy to debugging the Python code. Python has also a built-in debugging feature.

Beside it, Python is not a fully compiled language. The code is automatically compiled into the machine readable byte codes and then executed.

We do not need to compile the code before executing similar to Perl and PHP. Hence, Python is both a compiled and interpreted language.


4. Cross-platform Language

Python is a cross-platform language, which means it is platform independent. We can run the Python code equally on different platforms, such as Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Macintosh, etc.

For example, if we write a Python program on Windows, then we can run the same program in Linux, Mac, or any other operating system with no changes. This is because the source code of python first is converted to a machine readable byte code, which is then interpreted.

Hence, we can say that Python is a portable language. This feature enables programmers to develop the computer applications for several platforms by writing a program only once.


5. Free and Open Source

Python is a free and open-source programming language. It is freely available for everyone. We can install it on our computer free of cost on any operating system with no copyright issues.

Its official website is www.python.org where we can download the software along with its libraries and documentation for absolutely free.

However, Python’s license allows us to do much more than that. We can copy or modify Python, which makes Python so popular and successful.


6. Object-Oriented Language

Python supports object-oriented style of programming (OOP) that encapsulates the code within objects. OOP is a modern programming paradigm that is based on the concepts of classes and objects. It breaks up the code into several segments that messages back and forth using classes.

Object-oriented programming supports inheritance, polymorphism, data encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, etc. Its procedure helps to programmer to write reusable code and develop powerful applications in less code with a good level of abstraction.

However, using OOP techniques is optional in Python. We have all of OOP’s features at our disposal, but we can use it when we require it.

This makes Python different from other programming languages because OOP is not optional in Java and C#.


7. Interactive

Python is really interactive, so we can write a program directly on the Python prompt. The advantage of being Python interactive is we can interact directly with the interpreter and get the immediate results.

We can also use the prompt to test out small bits of codes to see if they work.


8. Easy to Maintain

We can easily maintain the source code of Python programming language.


9. Extensible Feature

We can integrate Python with other languages such as C, C++, and Java. It allows us to execute the code written in other programming languages.

This implies that we can compile the code in other languages like C/C++, or Java, and then can use that in our python code, which we can compile and run anywhere.

This extensible feature of python provides new abilities and functionality to integrating with other programming language’s code.


10. High-Level Language

Python is a high-level programming language, which means it enables the programmer to write programs that are not specific to a particular type of computer or designed for a specific task.

A high-level programming language is easier to write and understand. Programmers can easily write and understand or interpret the code.

It is closer to human language and far to machine language. Some examples of high-level languages are BASIC, C, C++, COBOL, FORTRAN, Java, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Visual Basic.

For a computer to understand and run a program designed with a high-level language, we must compile it into machine language.


11. Broad Standard Library

One of the main reasons for Python’s popularity is its large standard library for the various fields such as machine learning, data science, web developer, and also for the scripting. Python contains a rich set of modules and functions that are cross-platform.

These libraries are compatible with different operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, UNIX, Mac, etc. Programmers can access these modules easily with a simple import statement and use the functionality required. There is no need to write the code for every single task instead of importing.

For example, if we need to access a website and want to extract data from it, we don’t need to write the functions for request, response, and other things. There are several libraries available for this purpose which we can use.

The most commonly used modules are operating systems, network programming, mathematical functions, random functions, threads, internet protocols such as HTTP, SMTP, and FTP, GUI toolkit, HTML parsing, XML processing, and email handling.

You can also install other packages that are not available in the standard library if you require more functionality.

There are three popular frameworks for Python web development: Django, flask, and pyramids. Pandas, Tensor flow, Numpy, Keras, and Pytorch, etc. are machine learning libraries.


12. Dynamic Typed Language

Python is a dynamically typed language. This means that the Python interpreter does type checking of variable at the runtime. Interpreter assigns the type of variable based on the value of variable at the runtime.

We don’t declare the data type (for example, int, long, char, etc.) of a variable explicitly in Python. Interpreter decides the data type of variable and its memory allocation at runtime.

For example, assume that we want to assigning an integer value 10 to x, then we don’t need to write int x = 10. We will just write x = 10. Interpreter automatically allocates the memory to the variable at runtime when we assign a value to the variable.

Besides this, we can use one variable to store different types of data at different objects in the program. This feature of python saves a lot of time for programmers.


13. GUI Programming Support

Python provides many graphical user interface (GUI) libraries PyQT5, Tkinter, Kivy, PSide2, etc. that are used for the developing Desktop web application.

For example, when we use smartphones or computers, the screen has many icons of applications. When we open an application on the desktop or smartphone, we see a decent visual representation that makes it attractive and easy to use that application. This is what we call a Graphical User Interface (or simply GUI).


14. Databases Support

When we develop an application, we may need a database. Python language provides Python Database API (DB-API) that provides an interface to all major commercial databases.

MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL, Oracle, Informix, etc. are some databases supported by standard python. To use it, just import the interface for the particular database. Using Python, we can work with both relational and non-relational databases.


15. Automation Tool

Python is a great tool for the automation process. We can write simple Python programs to automate routine tasks, such as repetitive or time-consuming.


16. Scalable:

This feature of Python provides a better structure and supports for large programs.

Other Python Features


Besides the above-discussed features, Python has several advanced programming mechanisms like comprehensions, Generators, Decorators, etc. that make it more powerful.

Also, Python uses internally a private heap for memory management. Therefore, there is no concept of pointers in Python because of this memory management.

Limitations of Python


As we know, Python language has several key features, but it has also some limitations. They are as:

1. Python is an interpreter-based language. Therefore, it is slower in the terms of execution of programs as compared to other programming languages like C/C++/Java. Java is the fastest language because of JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and JIT (Just In Time) compiler.

2. As we know python is a high-level language like C/C++/Java, it also uses several layers to communicate with the operating system and computer hardware.

3. Graphics applications such as video games make the program to run slower.


In this tutorial, we have familiarized you with several key features of Python with examples. Hope that you will have understood all the basic key points of Python.

Python is a very popular and widely used high-level general purpose interpreted programming language. It is a agile language that enables programmers to do many customized things within a brief span of time.

Nowadays, all major IT companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, etc, are using Python as primary programming language. Beginners can learn python programming quickly in a short period.

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