If you are new to python programming, you might get confused between different terms such as python, Cython, CPython, etc. This article discusses Cpython vs Python in an attempt to describe what Cpython and Python are. It also discusses the differences and similarities between CPython and Python.
What is Python?
Python is a high-level, interpreted programming language. It was first released in 1991. Python is known for its simplicity, readability, and ease of use. We use python widely in a variety of applications, including web development, scientific computing, data analysis, machine learning, and more. This due to the following features of the python programming language.
- Python has a simple and clean syntax that is easy to read and write. It uses indentation to indicate code blocks, rather than brackets or parentheses, which makes the code more readable.
- Python is an object-oriented language, which means that it supports concepts like encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. It also supports procedural programming.
- Python is an interpreted language. The python interpreter executes the code line-by-line rather than compiling it into machine code.
- Python has dynamic typing. We can assign values with different types of data at runtime to a single variable. This makes Python more flexible and allows for faster development.
- Python is a cross-platform language. We can run a python source code written on one operating system on another system without modification. This makes it easy to develop and deploy Python applications on a variety of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
What is CPython?
CPython is an implementation of the Python programming language written in the C/C++ programming language. It is the most widely used implementation of Python. When we use the term Python, most of the time, we refer to the CPython implementation of the python programming language.
Some of the key features of CPython implementation of python include the following.
- Memory Management: CPython uses a reference counting scheme for memory management. Each object in Python has a reference count, which is the number of references to that object. When the reference count of an object reaches zero, the object is deallocated from memory.
- Global Interpreter Lock (GIL): CPython has a Global Interpreter Lock (GIL). It is used to synchronize access to Python objects in multi-threaded environments. This means that only one thread can execute Python bytecode at a time. This can limit the parallelism of Python programs.
- Standard Library: CPython includes a large standard library that provides a wide range of functionality for tasks such as file I/O, networking, web programming, and more. The standard library is written in Python and C and is included with the CPython distribution.
- Compatibility: CPython strives to maintain backward compatibility with other versions of Python. This means that code written for other versions of Python should generally work in CPython with little or no modification.
- Performance: CPython is generally a slower implementation of Python compared to some of the other implementations, such as PyPy or Pyston. However, CPython is often the easiest implementation to work with and we use it widely in production environments.
CPython is a stable implementation of the python language widely used in industry and academia. Its ease of use, large standard library, and backward compatibility make it a popular choice for Python developers.
CPython vs Python: What Are the Differences?
Broadly speaking, there is no difference between CPython and Python. CPython is the default and most widely used implementation of the Python programming language. When we refer to “Python”, we usually refer to the CPython implementation.
However, there are other implementations of the Python language that have some differences from CPython. These implementations include Jython, IronPython, PyPy, and Pyston.
- Jython is a python implementation written in Java. It runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
- IronPython is a Python implementation written in C#. It runs on the .NET Framework.
- PyPy is an implementation of Python that uses a Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler to optimize performance.
- Pyston is a performance-optimizing JIT for Python. It is drop-in compatible with the standard CPython interpreter.
Suggested reading: Why is Pyston blowing past python performance?
These implementations of Python may have some differences in their behavior or performance compared to CPython. For example, Jython may have better integration with Java libraries, while IronPython may have better integration with .NET libraries. PyPy may have better performance than CPython in some cases.
CPython vs Python: What Are the Similarities?
CPython and Python are almost the same things. As said in the previous sections, CPython is the default implementation of the Python programming language.
In this article, we had a discussion about CPython vs Python. Here, we discussed the basics of CPython and its similarities and differences from Python. To learn more about the python programming language, you can read this article on python vs R for data science. You might also like this article on the best debugging tools in Python.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Stay tuned for more informative articles.
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