Java vs Python

Bob Hays, Computer Geek rhays at
Mon May 15 13:06:29 CEST 2000

>I would just like to know how serious python is taken in the IT industry and
>how it compares to something like Java.

I work in the IT organization of a large multinational bank (in the
top ten world-wide).

>If a web applicatoin was written in both Java and Python,
>which would companies prefer ?

When we had to build an interface system that required mapping data
and we didn't know the target map (it kept changing - big surprise,
right?), we used Python for the mapping.  What used to take days to
change (in C++) then took at most an hour; testing became the long leg
of development....

The only problem I had in getting Python accepted was that most people
have Java experience but not Python experience.  I handled that by
having four people in the group learn Python enough to modify our
production app - it took each of them less than three days to get up
to speed.  We brought in a consultant to port the application to a new
version of the underlying library (which is SWIG wrapped) and it took
him two days.  Case made, no more problems....

BTW, we've used JPython in a second production application already.

>1. Which is more maintainable ?

Can't choose.  Python is easier to change but IMHO works better as a
prototyping and quick-mod layer, not quite as robust as Java.

>2. Which is more scaleable ?

Solely depends upon your architecture, not your language IMHO.

>3  Which is faster eg. Java servlets or Python CGI with mod_python ?

Can't tell you.  However, we did some timings on Python, JPython and
Java (I rewrote a few Python/JPython classes in Java - took < 1 hour)
and found that Java was faster than both, with Python coming in next
and JPython being pretty slow.

Have fun! - Bob

Bob Hays               | "Discipline is never an end in
181 W. Madison         | itself, only a means to an end
MS 4000                |  -- King Crimson
Chicago, IL  60602     | "Whoever flees history will be
(312) 904-4668 (voice) | pursued by history."
(312) 904-5774 (FAX)   |  -- Janusz Korczak
Bob.Hays at   +--------------------------------------
rhays at

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