[Python-Dev] re: 2.4 news reaches interesting places

Stewart Midwinter stewart.midwinter at gmail.com
Thu Dec 16 14:13:41 CET 2004

A number of people commented on the article in GCN, at
http://gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/28026-1.html, and wondered if
more could not be done to address the perception of speed. The point
is made that although people mention all of the benefits of Python,
like ease of use, flexibility, they always come back to making
references to its speed.  And the question is raised, "what can we do
to counter this perception?". I think the answer lies in a quote by a
user in that same article: "At first, Doak was worried a Python-based
program would not run simulations quickly enough, however he found
performance to be acceptable.

Let's turn this around.  Forget about trying to create a perception
that Python is fast.  Compiled languages will always be faster, at
least for large applications. Or at least they'll be perceived that
way.  So let's acknowledge that upfront, but say "Python is fast
enough for most uses", but  then go on to say "and in addition to its
acceptable speed, it offers many advantages like ease-of-use,
flexibility, easy code maintenance (since the code is still
understandable 6 months later!) etc.

Marketers of other products have used this same technique
successfully.  For example, at one time there was a perception that
Kellogg's Corn Flakes were old and boring.  Sales were slipping. 
Rather than refute that, marketers turned the issue on its head by
emphasizing that the product had been around a long time because it
was good, and good for you.  Hence was born the slogan "taste them
again, for the first time".

Possible slogan for Python: "Fast enough, and better in many ways". 


Stewart Midwinter
stewart at midwinter.ca
stewart.midwinter at gmail.com

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