REPOST: Re: Python Popularity: Questions and Comments

Dr. David J. Ritchie, Sr. djrassoc01 at
Fri Dec 28 19:32:49 CET 2001

In regards to Jonathan's comments....

Jonathan Feinberg wrote:

> "A. Keyton Weissinger" <keyton at> writes:
> > If it is as "X" as we all say/know/feel-in-our-hearts that it is, why is
> > there so very little real commercial appeal?
> [snip]
> > OK. At this point, I will get probably 3-10 messages public or private
> > saying that Python does not attempt to answer the same niche.
> It has nothing whatsoever to do with the merits.  It's entirely about
> marketing.  It's about pointy-headed Chief Technical Officers who have
> heard that Java is a good "enterprise" language, etc.

In support of Python, I would say "Absolutely!"

Compare the advertising dollars spent on Java vs. that spent
on Python. Along with CD ROM's, we should be distributing a page of peel-off
stick on, "Python Inside" labels as an insert with every Python book.  I also think
it is related to the less and less actual technical experience of senior decision makers
in corporations. It means that decision methodology is based more on what "large number of
people believe to be true" and this makes it particularly susceptible to the marketing of myths.

On the other hand, just to stir the pot a little and because I believe you should be able
to argue both sides of an issue, I would say when it comes to semi-critical
and critical applications, there are features of Java (like strong typing)
that at least mandate a certain level of consistency between all execution paths.

I can argue to myself to dismiss that one by saying that of course interpretative languages should
not be expected to hold to that level of validation. So, maybe it's reasonable to choose Java
for the toaster I am manufacturing. But then the dynamics are that you have the foot in the
door with a group of developers inside the firewall who already know
java well, it is a simple (-minded?) leap to employing  it in enterprise-wide constructs.


Dr. David J. Ritchie, Sr.
djrassoc01 at

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