Beginning programming with Python

Nemeth Miklos nemeth at
Tue Nov 16 12:34:57 EST 1999

Janos Blazi wrote:

> Dear Nicholas,
> what you say ist speculative. Your theses are not scientific predictions
> about nature. It would be very, very difficult to design an experiment that
> proves your theses wrong. Therefore from a scientific point of view, they
> are neither right nor wrong. Though they contain predictions about nature,
> these predictions should be much more carefully and precisely put to be
> really scientific.
> You are not saying that big project cannot be done with Python. You are
> saying that Python is less well suited for big projects than C. But it is
> not easy to atribbute a quantitative meaning to "less well". How do you want
> to scale that? You could take the number of man months necessary or you
> could try to quantify the quality of you product. Unless you provide us with
> these details I can neither confirm nor contradict. I can only check if
> there are inner contradictions in what you say. There are none, but that is
> not enough. Physics as seen by Aristotle was a wonderful piece of
> speculative thinking, without inner contradictions, bu today we know that we
> should not overestimate its practical meaning and we better take the
> Newtonian point of view.

Excuse me if my problem was not comprehendable. I am really not very strong in
presenting points.
The only thing I wanted, is to point out a potential shortcoming (if at all) of
Python -- I am not sure if the lack of compile-time type safety is really a
badly needed feature.
I am neither a physicist nor a mathematician, I am a simple business software
engineer. I like Python but I'd like to be convinced that Python is not only
for scientific programming, but also for business programming. I'd like to know
the general opinion of the "official" Python community on this (I think)
important topic. I learned from this list ( Fredrik Lundh) not long ago that
there is a so this topic must be
hot for the Python community.

> Your second question concerns teaching.
> (1)
> I have not tried Python as a language for teaching yet so I have not had any
> experience. I should like to use Python first and give a judgement after
> using it.
> (2)
> I agree with you: If Python were good for nothing else, it would not be good
> for teaching either. But in ther first part of your message you only say
> that Python is not well suited for large projects (though, as i have tried
> to show you, it is not clear, what that statement means). Now you say that
> it cannot be used at all. But I have had the experience that Python is nice
> for small projects, say below 3000 lines of code. So i am aifraid your
> argumentation is vulnerable at this point.

As far as I understood, you are absolutely sure that Python is a perfect
language, I have to trust in it without any hesitation?

Miklos Nemeth

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