Why we chose Python for the RCPCH Digital Growth Charts project.

Accessibility and learning curve

One of the early considerations was that we wanted to open source this, and we wanted to make sure that that open source code was easily ‘accessible’ to other clinicians who might want to read the code. Firstly, they can point out our bugs. And, secondly they provide independent peer review of the code.

Adoption and stability

Python is the de-facto language of the scientific, research and bioinformatics community, where it’s very well adopted, it’s been around for 30 plus years. And it’s currently on Python 3, so it’s gone through a lot of its initial growing pains and is now quite a nice stable language.

Standard libraries and webbish stuff

And so the other reason we chose Python is that it’s got a fairly well developed set of standard libraries, so that where we were using libraries, we will be using ones that are maintained by the Python Software Foundation, and not third party libraries that are not necessarily going to have long term support or bring us problems long term.

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Marcus Baw

Marcus Baw

#HIT100 NHS GP | Clinical Informatician | Ruby & Python dev | co-founder NHSbuntu & openGPSoC | Freelance Health IT