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What is the correct way of saying the following sentences (python is the name of the language and numpy is one of the libraries):

  • I made this program with Python using numpy library.
  • I program using python with numpy library.
  • The program is written utilizing python and numpy library.

The goal is to explain to non-programmers (that in this case are scientists) some general details about the program.

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I think you program in Python using the numpy library. – Andrew Leach Mar 8 '13 at 8:38
I usually program in language X. But I heard all three of your examples used in the wild, and they are completely understandable and grammatically correct. So, no worries. Edit: Oh, Andy is right, it's the numpy library. Other than that, it's OK. – Mr Lister Mar 8 '13 at 8:38
Please don’t use utilizing. – tchrist Mar 8 '13 at 11:39
So, the second one is "I program in Python with the numpy library". The last one also. How about with made? "I made this program in Python"? – Juha Mar 8 '13 at 11:57
@Juha What makes you think non-programmers are scientists? – THE COMMENT GUY Mar 8 '13 at 12:19
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The choice you make (either in or with) reflects how you think about Python.

If it is a language (like German) then you write in Python. But, if you regard Python as a tool (like a soldering iron) then you create an application with Python.

You will find both forms of language in use because both world views are held by different groups. One way to decide which is appropriate for you would be to imagine that you wanted to hire a new programmer. Would you ask "Can you write Python?" {Language} or "Can you use Python?" {Tool}.

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"I think you program in Python using the numpy library." – Andrew Leach

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It isn’t cool to repost somebody else’s comment as your own answer. – tchrist Mar 8 '13 at 12:36
@tchrist Although it does speak to the problem with answering questions in the comments. – Kit Z. Fox Mar 8 '13 at 14:24
@tchrist: But he gave attribution. He's doing Andrew the favor of posting his comment as an answer -and- making it CW so he doesn't get rep out of it. That negates all the uncoolness, doesn't it? – Mitch Mar 8 '13 at 15:09

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