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Porting radar simulation software to Python: a case study in the benefits of Python

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Thursday, 27 January 2011: 9:15 AM
Porting radar simulation software to Python: a case study in the benefits of Python
307-308 (Washington State Convention Center)
Ryan M. May, Enterprise Electronics Corp., Norman, OK
Manuscript (108.2 kB)

Python is known for having “batteries included”: a feature-filled standard library which reduces development effort for many common tasks, such as logging, configuration files, and command line parsing. The utilization of this standard library allows the addition of features to software while adding little additional code, or even reducing the amount of code for existing software. Also, by virtue of its dynamic nature and powerful built-in data structures, Python is able to provide a drastically simpler interface for reading NetCDF datasets compared to the standard interfaces in languages like C or FORTRAN. Python's concept of modules additionally facilitates the creation of small, reusable software components, which promotes code reuse. These qualities reduce the volume of code that must be developed and maintained, which accelerates the development cycle. The porting of a software radar simulator from pure C to a mixture of C and Python is used as a case study in the benefits moving software to Python.