Java project -- use Python instead?

Phil Hunt philh at
Sat Aug 28 20:02:23 EDT 1999

I am currently involved with a largish programming project, currently
being written in Java.

It is a client-server system. The clients are PCs running NT, the
server is another NT box running a database. There will be about 5000
users with client machines (not all will be connected at a time).
The clients will connect to the server across the Internet.

The project will consist of a user interface with c. 100 screens on 
it. A Java applet displays these screens, using data it gets from the
server; the server is running Enterprise Java Beans which in turn
are connected to a relational database.

I would like to try implementing some or all of this project using 
Python, either as a prototyping system (with the ``real'' system
later implemented in Java), or as the real system.

I wonder whether anyone has any experience using Python for anything
like this? If so, perhaps you could answer some questions:

1. is it likely to be feasible to do this in Python? What about
doing it partly in Python (e.g. the client), and partly in Java
(e.g. the server)?

2. is Python likely to be fast enough? I would guess it probably is,
on the clients, but what about on the server?

3. are there any speed bottlenecks in Python, e.g. talking to the
database, or doing network communications?

4. what are the arguments for and against using Python? What's a good
argument to persuade my boss to give it a go?

Phil Hunt....philh at

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