Suitable for Large Applications?!

Konrad Hinsen hinsen at
Tue Aug 31 11:08:51 CEST 1999

David Oppenheimer <davidopp at> writes:

> apllications.  On one hand I hear people discussing applications that
> have 10,000 plus lines and on the other I hear people say its really
> only good for small tasks and for modeling.  I'd hate to spend time

I doubt that the size of project, counted in lines or whatever else,
is the main criterion to decide whether Python is appropriate or not.
The complexity of data structures and algorithms, the size of data
objects, the number of people working on the project, etc., are
important as well.

But I can't think of a case in which Python would be of no benefit at
all. I'd expect every big project to end up with a mixture of Python
and C/C++ code, with the amount of C/C++ code strongly depending on
details of the project.

My own big project, the Molecular Modelling Toolkit
(, is currently at
12000 lines of Python plus 7000 lines of C. And I don't even want to
imagine how big it would be in pure C; it's a purely academic question
since most certainly I couldn't have developed it in pure C.

So my suggestion is: go ahead with Python, but be prepared to add
C extension modules. The combination is *much* more pleasant than
pure C or C++.
Konrad Hinsen                            | E-Mail: hinsen at
Centre de Biophysique Moleculaire (CNRS) | Tel.: +33-
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