Sharpening comparative concepts (was: Java vs Python)

Cameron Laird claird at
Tue May 16 16:09:05 CEST 2000

In article <jazoprog8c.fsf at>,
Glyph Lefkowitz  <glyph at> wrote:
>Not to mention the fact that everything is a first-class object in
>python, so you don't end up worrying about how the heck you're going
>to write your code to deal with int/long/double/float without
>incurring extra overhead both in syntax and in memory: you can just
>treat everything as a number in python.  (As if it were object
>oriented or something!)
>Compare the following to snippets:
>class Foo:
>    def __init__(self,x=15):
>        self.x=x
>    def bar(self, a, b):
>        return self.x+a+b
>public class Foo {
>    int x;
>    public Foo(int x) {
>        this.x=x;
>    }
>    public int bar(a,b) {
>        return x+a+b;
>    }
>The java version looks slightly more complex, but they appear to be
>approximately the same: until you realize that Java is operating on
>integers, and Python is operating on *anything which can be added*!
Python has genericity built-in--right?  Is
that exactly the point here, or is there some-
thing more or less to it?
>your platform *probably already exist*.  Java shoehorns you into ONE
>API, ONE loosely-defined standard implemented shoddily by Sun, ONE way
>to write GUI's, no ability to do multiplexing (all I/O is blocking and
>in threads) ... all in all, the poor performance and poor scalability
>of Java's standard library damn the language more thoroughly than any
>other feature of it.  After all, java "scales" because it has true
I've been thinking about I/O.  Is Java *wrong*
(in the sense that, say, inter-module communi-
cation through FORTRAN common blocks is an
unacceptable hazard), or just different, in
this regard?  Myself, I much prefer event-ori-
ented programming, and think that threads are
generally dangerous in the hands of amateurs;
on the other hand, I find Java's I/O just a
*different* programming model, one not inher-
ently inferior.

Cameron Laird <claird at>

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