[Python-Dev] 2.4 news reaches interesting places

Gareth McCaughan gmccaughan at synaptics-uk.com
Thu Dec 9 17:39:21 CET 2004

On Wednesday 2004-12-08 22:39, Phillip J. Eby wrote:

>> One thing that bugs me: the article says 3 or 4 times that Python is
>> slow, each time with a refutation ("but it's so flexible", "but it's
>> fast enough") but still, they sure seem to harp on the point. This is
>> a PR issue that Python needs to fight -- any ideas?

> The only thing that will fix the PR issue is to have a Python compiler 
> distributed as part of the language.  It doesn't matter if it doesn't 
> support the full generality of Python, or even if it doesn't speed many 
> operations up much.  The only real requirements are that it can be used to 
> produce "native" executables, and that it be an official part of the 
> language, not a separately-distributed tool like Psyco or Pyrex.  Then, it 
> will perhaps be a sufficient "security blanket" to stop people FUDding 
> about it.

Unfortunately, this may not be enough. Consider, by way of counterexample,
Common Lisp, which
  - is compiled to native code
  - has optional type declarations
  - actually *does* run fast when compiled
  - has had all these properties for years and years
but is still almost universally decried as "slow" by people who have
never actually used it. It's true that it doesn't (as part of the
standard, and in the free implementations I know of) have the ability
to generate standalone executables with filenames ending in ".exe";
perhaps that's the key thing.

The other thing that might work is to change the name of the language
to "C" plus optional punctuation.


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