Is Python for me?

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Tue Feb 20 13:37:40 CET 2001

"Kendall G. Clark" <kendall at> wrote in message
news:slrn994ieu.utn.kclark at
> On Sun, 11 Feb 2001 08:37:56 +0100, Alex Martelli <aleaxit at>
> >If I wanted to meet your constraints 1-5, I'd be torn between Haskell
> >(no objects, but...)
> Well, there's always O'Haskell
> 1. There's something Alex Martelli doesn't know; and

Yes (such as: what is the best C-coded ANOVA package for Python...
see my latest post!), but the (non-empty) set does not include
O'Haskell (nor, alas, Mondrian -- which is a hack of which
respondent sayeth no further).  O'Haskell looks cool, but I just
would not recommend it within the given constraints 1-5 (which
I invite you to review) -- it may mature into something *really*
great, but it's still at "rabid early-adopters" stage now (IMHO).

> 2. the Timbot is (still) spreading about the hoary 'Common Lisp is
> *really* huge' myth[1]?

Wasn't that in the context of a comparison with Scheme?  In which
case, it seems to me that it's no myth, but simple fact.  It's not
an issue of dimension of executable images, etc -- it's an issue
of how big the *language* (with its libraries) is.  CLisp is right
up there with C++, Ada, etc, in the "really huge languages" class
(Java is an interesting anomaly -- middling *language*, but the
'standard libraries' are *SO* deucedly MANY, that overall it may
be considered big again:-).

I don't particularly care if some clever compiler is able to turn:
    #include <iostream>
    int main() { std::cout<<"Hello world!\n"; }
into a "completely standalone" executable of 392 bytes or less --
that doesn't make *C++* any smaller.  (How many alleged C++ users
KNOW that the 'int' here is mandatory _but_ it's OK to leave the
"return 0;" out because it's IMPLIED if function ::main -- and
IT only -- "falls off the end"...?  just a tiny example of the
kind of things that make a _language_ "big" -- lots of "convenient"
ad-hoc little special-cases and such...:-).


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