I've been playing with PHP for a couple of years.for the progdb, so I thought it was time to look into this Python thing.
I don't like it.
There are a couple of things I like, namely the iteration protocols being embedded at such a deep level, and the low-level hooks for all the operator overloading that are hugely reminiscent of the es shell (Python predates es, but es had those hooks in at the start, in '93; I don't know when Python added them).
I loathe the syntax. I'm not a fan of oppressive formatting, particularly when it's inconsistently applied. Maybe it'd be fine once I'd gotten used to it. I dunno. Not keen on finding out.
I could cope quite happily with the "everything's a reference" copy approach if it weren't for Lutz's book. He bangs on about how great this is, and says that it's never a problem, well, almost never, well, hardly ever, well, not often, well, look, just import deepcopy. Hint: "everything's a reference: sometimes this really screws you up. Get over it."
(Lutz winds me up throughout the book, because he just won't get to the point. I'm aware of the "tell them three times" presentation rule, but this is a book - I can flip back. Everything's introduced again, and again, and again. I've grateful I've got the Third Edition (it's sat on my shelf for a good six months or so), because the Fourth Edition's even more of a monster.)
Most of the rest of the language, I can take or leave. Despite the much-vaunted regularity, it shows the same evolutionary warts as every other language that's been successful over a couple of decades, though list comprehensions strike me as an unnecessary application of mathematical notation, poorly (we don't have the right character sets or editors to support the Real Thing). It's more fully-fledged than PHP, and considerably less hacky than Perl. Still: so what?
Next up: Ruby and Rails.