24.1. "That's the End of the Book, Now Here's the Meaning of Life"
Well, the meaning of Python, anyway. In the introduction to this book, I promised that we'd return to the issue of Python's roles after seeing how it is used in practice. So in closing, here are some subjective comments on the broader implications of the language. Most of this conclusion remains unchanged since the first edition of this book was penned in 1995, but so are the factors that pushed Python into the development spotlight.
As I mentioned in the first chapter, Python's focus is on concepts such as quality, productivity, portability, and integration. I hope that this book has demonstrated some of the benefits of that focus in action. Along the way, we've seen Python applied to systems programming, GUI development, Internet scripting, database and text processing, and more. And we've witnessed firsthand the application of the language to realistically scaled tasks. I hope you've also had some fun; that, too, is part of the Python story.
In this conclusion, I wish now to return to the forest after our long walk among the treesto revisit Python's roles in more concrete terms. In particular, Python's role as a prototyping tool can profoundly affect the development cycle.