Python-like compiled language

Gareth McCaughan Gareth.McCaughan at
Tue Dec 12 18:46:49 EST 2000

Alexander Lawhead wrote:
> This may seem like an odd question, but what is the most Python-like
> compiled language? I'm a new programmer and have been learning on Python.
> I'm trying to build some command-line driven programs to do some image
> processing and am trying to find a Python-like compiled language that
> would be faster than Python+NumPy. Ideally I guess I should learn C and
> combine Python + C extensions. For the moment, I'd like to start on a new
> compiled language, preferably one that's oriented towards math/science
> (hopefully with built-in or standard matrix libraries). I've fallen in
> love with Python+NumPy's matrix capabilities and am far more interested in
> a language that comes close in this regard. Object oriented capability is
> not necessary.

The compiled language that feels most Python-like to me is
Common Lisp: very dynamic, offers OO but doesn't force it
on you, good selection of basic data types, large library
of useful things. There are some very good CL compilers
out there, too. (Dylan would be another choice, if the
syntax of CL is too weird for you.)

I'm not sure how well this fits your needs, though, if what
you want is good performance for matrix operations. That's
the sort of thing for which C and C++ usually win.

Before you start looking for other languages, though: have
you checked that the presence of Python in the mix is actually
what's holding you back here? If you're making heavy use of
Numeric Python, then most of what you do is probably happening
inside a library written in C, and you're unlikely to improve
hugely on it.

Gareth McCaughan  Gareth.McCaughan at
sig under construc

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