Is Python Dead? Long Live Python!

Lindstrom Greg - glinds Greg.Lindstrom at acxiom.com
Mon Jul 9 23:18:37 CEST 2001


>Beauty is only beauty if one can experience it.  
>I can't experience Python on a day to day basis 
>(in the workplace), so therefore I can't
>appreciate it.

This is quite true in my experience, too.  I work in an IT shop that simply
refuses to recognize Python (and Perl) because most of the people in
leadership will not accept it.  The major strikes?

1. It's Free.  How serious can a language be if it's given away? We seem to
feel more secure in spending over $2500.00 per box for MS Developers Studio
and various other software license (CORBA goes for $1,200 a box, I'm told)?

2. If my boss had to code in C/C++, it's should be good enough for me
(dammit!).  C++ has the added benefit of producing code that is nearly
unreadable, and complex enough to take days to explain. Now this may be
because we do not know how to properly code C++ (surely there is good C++
code out there somewhere). In a recent (very large) project here, the
"architecture team" would not even consider STL for the string class; they
designed and wrote their own!  The ironic twist in this is that 10 years ago
these same people insisting on C/C++ were the ones leading the way away from
assembler language.

3. No Support! At least no 900 number to call for a per minute fee. Doesn't
seem to matter that in the past couple of years I have never had to wait
over a day to get a answer to a question. Perhaps we would feel better if
there were someone we could sue.

4. To easy to understand. A sin among most coders.  It's embarrassing to go
into a review meeting and show product managers and others code that they
can understand. It's much more impressive to hand out code that baffles 10
year veterans. I showed the code to a recent prototype to a customer
relationship manager, and she understood the flow (to be fair, she could not
have produced the code, but she felt good about making minor changes).

5. A fear of maintainability. My boss worries that nobody will be able to
maintain the code I write. While I believe that is a fair criticism on Perl
(and is why I stopped coding Perl), it is my experience that Python is quite
easy to understand.  Of course, a poor programmer can produce poor code in
any language (they just have to work a little harder at it in Python).

Perl and Python (and I love 'em both) are gaining ground among those who
have to get things done because they improve productivity. I write almost
all of my test routines in Python if for no other reason as to remove a
common language between application and test.  Most of my prototypes are
Python (love the wxPython). In time, I hope others will be won over; and --
with no disrespect to Python -- it does not keep up with my needs as a
programmer, I will leave it for anything better that comes along.  Until
then I will fight for both Perl and Python.



Greg Lindstrom
"When the solution is simple, God has spoken"

                                                            Albert Einstein




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