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

Carlos Ribeiro carribeiro at gmail.com
Fri Dec 17 12:20:18 CET 2004

On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 06:13:41 -0700, Stewart Midwinter
<stewart.midwinter at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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".

One possible marketing strategy is to use the adjective "fast" in a
broader sense. The Python slogan could be something like: "Programming
has never been any faster" -- this changes the playing ground, from
raw performance to *programming* performance. And sure, nothing beats
Python (the overall package) in this respect. It can deliver fast code
in a short time. Othere languages are faster to run, but take longer
to code...

BTW, I would move away from the "fast enough" when talking about
performance. It's difficult to qualify what is "enough" in marketing
terms; also, a selling/winning message can't be seen as taking excuses
for any reason. On the other hand, Python never claims to be the
fastest language on raw execution performance, but only to be fast;
but in this sense, being "fast enough" is the same as being "fast".
So, I would never say, "Python allows you to write fast enough code in
a short time"; I would say "Python allows you to write fast code in a
short time". Leave the "fast enough" out of this, please.

Carlos Ribeiro
Consultoria em Projetos
blog: http://rascunhosrotos.blogspot.com
blog: http://pythonnotes.blogspot.com
mail: carribeiro at gmail.com
mail: carribeiro at yahoo.com

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