Python Popularity: Questions and Comments

Ron Stephens rdsteph at
Thu Dec 27 17:15:04 EST 2001

I just think that it is difficult for for-profit corporations to justify hiring
and keeping highly paid developers to work on Python development. Granted
Python was originally and primarily developed by open source volunteers, as are
most such languages. But it is sure nice having the support of Digital
Creations, ActiveState, etc. I am not "knocking" ActiveState, really I can
understand their dilemna. How do they generate enough revenues with a Python
development team to pay for itself and make a profit? Not easy, I fear; and the
economy, which is definitely slowing, sure doesn't help.

I hope Digital Creations can make money on Zope, the more the better. I urge us
all to support Zope in any way we can (and for that matter, to support any
ActiveState Python products we can, and Secret Labs, PythonWare, etc. etc. etc.

Python will do better if it has commercial support, in addition to open source
volunteers. Of course we need the open source community; without Guido and the
rest of the community, there would be no Python. But enthusiastically support
any commercial enterprise that supports Python, I say.

I especially hope that Zope can be a big money maker for Digital Creations. But
I suspect that it is a tough business model they have. I think we should be
grateful to them for supporting Python so vigorously and in such important

I recently read an interview with a Digital Creations top manager where he said
that he hopes someone starts a successful business based solely on providing
ISP services using Zope, with full technical support. Is anyone looking into
this? Does anyone think this could be a successful business model? I am
interested in opinions on this.

Ron Stephens

Justin Sheehy wrote:

> Ron Stephens <rdsteph at> writes:
> > Furthermore, Ruby is aimed right at the heart of Python's niche.
> What niche is that?
> More importantly, why does this matter?  The "aimed right at the heart"
> phrasing makes it sounds as though one must defeat and replace another.
> There's no reason why Ruby can't do just fine without this meaning
> anything negative about Python.
> > If we view Microsoft's Visual Studio, especially Visual's C#
> > and VB, as the official 800 lb. gorilla of software development; and if
> > we view Java as the 400 lb. gorilla pretender to the throne; and if we
> > view Borland's Delphi and Kylix as no more than a smart leader of a
> > chimp; then everything else is the pack of open source chimps.
> Oh, you live in a windows-only world.
> Those are definitely all big players, but a lot of large and
> significant software happens in environments where VB et al are simply
> not viable options due to the fact that they tie you so tightly to one
> vendor's platform.
> Python runs in more places than any of the products/languages that you
> mention, and this matters a lot to a large number of people.
> > Ruby folks include those who like its more Perl-like syntax
> They can keep it.  I love not having line noise mixed in with my programs.
> > They see Python as a compromise between object oriented and
> > procedural programming.
> So?  Idealists are fun to talk to, but compromises get work done just fine.
> > What so you all think of Ruby, and its impact on Python?
> Ruby - seems decent enough, but I have no reason to use it other than
>        playing around and because I like seeing how new and different
>        language implementations work
> Ruby's impact on Python - Not much.  For a while the biggest impact
>        was that a few people would yell about Ruby's superiority at
>        inappropriate times in various non-Ruby-related forums.  That
>        seems to have died off, and now Ruby seems to be doing just
>        fine for a young language.  This doesn't really mean all that
>        much to Python, as it is extremely unlikely that either of
>        these two languages will fully supplant the other.
> > 2. The economy is hurting Python's open source development model.
> It is?  From my observations, Python itself has seen far more
> aggressive development in the past year or so than in any of the
> previous several years.  Other than the one comment about Mark
> Hammond's situation, what makes you say this?
> -Justin

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