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Python's niche is that it's a general purpose language that is also good for scientific programming.

my theory is that Python ended of being used so much in scientific computing because of what it lacked :) I mean weird stuff that put off "brilliant non-professional programmers" (ie. scientists, engineers and other domain experts that thought themselves how to code). All other languages have tons on these things: Ruby has blocks that make people write functionalish code, Perl has ...tons of weirdness. Python just looked clean and easy to learn and lacked "weird shit" :)

Python also has scientific libraries that don't have equivalents in other dynamic languages. I don't agree that Python is free of weirdness, though. Perl and Ruby just happen to have extra weirdness.

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