Top 16 differences between Python and C++

by Alex
Top 16 differences between Python and C++

Python and C++ are two very different programming languages. They have different features and are designed for different tasks. However, they both have one thing in common: support for object-oriented programming. In this guide, we will look at the features of Python, and its key differences from C++.

Features of C++

  • Compiled language
  • Strictly typed case sensitive
  • Device-independent – portable and modular
  • Fast and efficient
  • Powerful
  • Uses pointers and has a huge library of functions
  • Supports the following OOP features:
    • Classes and objects
    • Abstraction
    • Encapsulation
    • Polymorphism
    • Inheritance

Features of Python

  • Comprehensible syntax and easy to learn
  • Easy to scale
  • Free, open source and cross platform
  • Object-oriented with high reliability and excellent readability
  • Can be used for prototyping and testing to later move on to other high-level languages
  • Offered with a large library including XML parsers and more

Now let’s look at the main differences: ParameterC++PuthonCompilerableInterpretableEasy to useWrite code is not easyEasy to write codeStatic/dynamic typingStatically typedDynamically typedPortabilityNot portablePortableTrash collectionNot support trash collectionSupports trash collectionEasy to installEasy to installData types are checked at compilationBound to values, checked at runtimeValue visibilityLimited within blocks and loopsAvailable outside loops or blocksFast prototypingNot possiblePossibleFunctionsLimited by parameter type and return typeNo limited by parameter type and return typeEfficiencyComplicated maintainEasy to maintainSyntax complexityUses blocks and semicolonsNo blocks and semicolons (indents are used)Execution speedFastSlowPerformanceHigh performanceLow performancePopularityMore popular in embedded and EnterprisesystemsMore popular in machine learningSimple and easy to useEasy to learn and used in low-level applicationsSimple used in machine learning and web applications

Key differences between C++ and Python

Listed below are the key differences between C++ and Python in terms of programming languages.

Compiling

Python is an interpreted language. Files with a .py extension don’t need to be compiled. You can pass code directly into the Python interpreter and get results. C++ is a compiled language. The compiler creates code from code written by the programmer, which is then executed to produce results.

Using

C++ has many different functions and a relatively complex syntax. It’s not easy to write code in this language. Python has a very simple syntax so programs look much simpler and easier to write.

Static/dynamic typing

C++ is a statically typed language. This way the data types are checked at compile time. Because of this, the source code is error-proof when it works. Python is error prone because types are checked when the program is running.

Portability

Python is portable. It is also cross-platform, which allows you to run the code on different devices. C++ is not portable, so you have to compile the code specifically for each platform: “You write the code once, compile everywhere”.

Garbage collection/memory management

In C++, memory has to be managed manually. There is no automatic garbage collection. Python, on the other hand, supports automatic garbage collection. It handles memory management automatically.

Rapid Prototyping

You can use Python to do rapid prototyping so you can create applications in other programming languages. Not available for C++.

Variable Scope

C++ code is shared with curly braces in loops. The scope of variables is limited by these blocks. In Python, the scope of variables is not limited to anything. Variables are accessible within a single construct.

Installing

C++ can be easily installed on Windows, but Python is more complicated. Some libraries are not compatible with Windows.

Types

In C++, data types are bound to names and checked at compile time. This reduces the number of possible errors when working. In Python, however, data types are checked at runtime. Because of this, the number of errors in this language can be higher.

Functions

Functions are code blocks with one or more parameters and a return value. Each parameter and return value has its own type. In C++, the types of all values must match what is passed. In Python, there are no such restrictions.

Efficiency

C++ code is more difficult to maintain because it only gets more complex as the size of applications grows. Python, on the other hand, has cleaner code and clearer syntax. It is much easier to maintain.

Syntax complexity

C++ has a clear separation of blocks with curly braces and semicolons. Thus, this code is perfectly organized. In Python, on the other hand, there are no braces or semicolons. It uses indentation.

The execution speed

C++ programs are faster. That’s why this language is used in areas where speed matters, such as games. Python is slower. Python code even runs slower than Java.

Performance

C++ is a statically typed language so there are fewer errors in the program. This code runs faster. This makes C++ a high-performance language. Python is dynamic, so there are more bugs and overall performance is lower compared to C++. On the other hand, Python is almost unmatched in machine learning.

Simplicity and usability

Python gives you the ability to write simple and straightforward code. This allows you to develop complex applications for machine learning without thinking about the peculiarities of syntax. Python is also easier to learn. You can’t say the same about C++. It’s a low-level language that’s more suited to computers than humans. Python has an advantage in this respect, especially when it comes to machine learning applications.

The key advantages of Python are

  • One of the main advantages of Python is its simple and straightforward syntax. Programmers with C++ will understand it almost immediately, even though it may initially lack brackets and semicolons.
  • Python has a huge standard library with readers/writers for CSV, ZIP and other formats, XML parsers, networking tools and so on.
  • The language is suitable for building web applications.
  • It supports duck-typing, where you can create and call an object without worrying about what type it is.
  • Best suited for machine learning.

Advantages of C++ over Python

  • The main advantage of C++ is performance. It is much faster than Python.
  • C++ is suitable for almost all platforms as well as embedded systems, while Python only runs on select platforms that support high-level languages.
  • C++ is more predictable due to static typing. This also affects performance.
  • When working with C++, you can learn low-level programming because the language is close to the hardware. In the case of Python, this will not work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to learn C++ instead of Python?

A programmer must choose what to learn. It also depends on the needs. If you’re interested in system or low-level programming, look at C++. If you’re more interested in machine learning, Python is better. You can also learn about web programming with Ruby, JavaScript, Angular, and so on. It all depends on your interests and needs. Plus, it never hurts to know a few programming languages.

Python is better than C++

Yes. In terms of simplicity of syntax and ease of learning. You can take Python just to get familiar with programming. There are no semicolons, pointers, templates, STL, types, etc. If you want to learn the basics of programming, Python is clearly better than C++. However, the latter wins in terms of performance, speed, breadth of use, and so on.

Can Python replace C++?

No. C and C++ form the basis of programming. In fact, even Python is built on top of C. So there is no way that Python can replace one of those languages. It may be ahead in areas where there’s no interaction with devices, performance, serious resource management, and so on.

Which is better to choose from among C++, Python, and Java

All three languages have their advantages and disadvantages. C++ is known for its performance, speed, and memory management. In Java, the main thing is its platform. Python, on the other hand, focuses on simplicity, readability, and community support. Personal preference will help make the choice. Without it, it’s impossible to tell which language is better.

Why C++ is faster than Python

For the following reasons:

  • Good C++ code executes faster on the CPU than Python
  • There is no interpretation step where each expression is evaluated line by line
  • No garbage collector running all the time
  • There’s more control over system calls
  • You can write machine code with ease

These are all things that affect the higher performance of C++ code. This is what affects the slower performance of Python:

  • The language is interpreted instead of compiled
  • There are no primitives in Python. Everything is represented as objects of built-in types
  • Lists contain objects of different types. This requires extra space to define future items in the list

Conclusions

C++ and Python are different languages with different feature sets and applications. Python has a simpler syntax and good readability, but loses to C++ in terms of performance and speed. Python is suitable for machine learning, while C++ is suitable for a wide range of applications, including system programming.

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