[C++-sig] Re: Why Python for C++ programmers

David Abrahams dave at boost-consulting.com
Tue Jan 7 23:05:14 CET 2003

Daryl P McDaniel <python at mc2research.org> writes:

> Greetings,
> The Python / C++ relationship is not adversarial; it is
> complementary.  I think that this is a very important point to get
> across to a C++ audience.

Yes, it was something I wanted to convey, but I thought I was failing.
That's why I posted the question.  I've long since solved those
problems in my paper, but I had to rewrite it three times to get there

> One can easily prototype in Python then convert to C++.  (There are 
> significant benefits to prototyping in something other than your production 
> language.)  By coupling Python with application specific extension libraries, 
> in C++, one can produce an application with very good performance while 
> retaining the benefits (as expressed in the original messages) of Python.
> For us, the greatest benefit comes when Python is embedded in our product 
> (Low-level management firmware for Mainframes).  Through the facilities 
> provided by Boost.Python, all "important" C++ objects are available in the 
> Python environment.  This allows one to easily interract with the system, and 
> the system objects, for experimentation, development, and debugging.  Where 
> appropriate, portions of the final application that are not time critical can 
> be written in Python.  The breadth of Python library support usually results 
> in small, easily maintained, modules.

All good points.

> As one who has been programming in C++ daily for about 20 years, my
> initial reaction (in a seminar environment) to the phrase "C++ is
> hard, Python is easy" would be fairly negative.  C++ is harder than
> Python to use correctly and fully.  That which you know is always
> easier than that which you don't.

I daresay I know C++ better than I know Python.  I still think C++ is
harder.  Maybe I'm just being too optimistic about Python? <wink>

                       David Abrahams
   dave at boost-consulting.com * http://www.boost-consulting.com
Boost support, enhancements, training, and commercial distribution

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