Introduction

Read this before you get started with Pythonect. This hopefully answers some questions about the purpose and goals of the project, and when you should or should not be using it.

What is Pythonect?

Pythonect is a new, experimental, general-purpose dataflow programming language based on Python. It provides both a visual programming language and a text-based scripting language. The text-based scripting language aims to combine the quick and intuitive feel of shell scripting, with the power of Python. The visual programming language is based on the idea of a diagram with “boxes and arrows”.

The Pythonect interpreter (and reference implementation) is a free and open source software written completely in Python, and is available under the BSD 3-Clause license.

Why Pythonect?

Pythonect, being a dataflow programming language, treats data as something that originates from a source, flows through a number of processing components, and arrives at some final destination. As such, it is most suitable for creating applications that are themselves focused on the “flow” of data. Perhaps the most readily available example of a dataflow-oriented applications comes from the realm of real-time signal processing, e.g. a video signal processor which perhaps starts with a video input, modifies it through a number of processing components (video filters), and finally outputs it to a video display.

As with video, other domain problems (e.g. image processing, data analysis, rapid prototyping, and etc.) can be expressed as a network of different components that are connected by a number of communication channels. The benefits, and perhaps the greatest incentives, of expressing a domain problem this way is scalability and parallelism. The different components in the network can be maneuvered to create entirely unique dataflows without necessarily requiring the relationship to be hardcoded. Also, the design and concept of components make it easier to run on distributed systems and parallel processors.

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