I've updated this article on 2011-06-15. Comments from back in 2008 are referring to the original version (which cut some corners and was a little too short).

One of the major reasons my company prefers Java over Python, is Java's static type declarations (and all the benefits that follow). If only Python had that, my life would be so much nicer. Here is an example of code I have to work with, and an example of what the Python equivalent would look like.

The background of the code: We have a list of "identifiers" that can identify people who want to use a parking garage. These can be NFC cards, credit cards, and bar codes. We want to filter the list of known identifiers and return only those of type "barcode".

The code in Java:

private List<Identifier> barcodeTypeOnly(List<Identifier> ids)
    final List<Identifier> barcodes = new ArrayList<Identifier>();

    for (Identifier id : ids) {
        if (id.getType().equals(Identifier.TYPEBARCODE)) {

    return barcodes;

What it would look like in Python:

ids = the list of identifiers

barcodes = [identifier for identifier in ids
            if identifier.type == Identifier.TYPEBARCODE]

You could write that last one on a single line, but for clarity I wrote it like this. I understand that the list comprehension construction may not be instantly recognisable, so I wrote a little explanation after the break.