Python 2 times slower than Perl

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Wed Jul 18 17:36:35 CEST 2001

"Rob Andrews" <rob at> wrote in message
news:3B559B30.61A90EA at
> Gilles Lenfant wrote:
> >
> > Seriously, compare 2 languages with really useful features (Genrate PDF
> > report, extract XML data...).
> > You can find useless stuffs that run much faster in Python than in Perl.
> >
> I'd love to see some comparisons in which people who are good at their
> respective languages are given the same task considered reasonably
> programmable in each of the given languages.

That's exactly what Prechelt did.  We need more of that.

> See which programmer gets a working *proof of concept* program actually
> working in the least development time.
> The we could post *Why are Perl, Java, and C all so much slower than
> Python?*

Perl and Python ruled the roost in Prechelt's tests (from the POV
of development speed), indistinguishable from each other.  C and C++
made the fastest executables on average.  Java was bad on both
scores -- very slow programs taking a long time to develop.  Other
scripting languages (Tcl, Rexx) gave intermediate development times
but extremely slow results.  Somebody else claims to have rerun the
same experiment with Common Lisp, getting runtimes competitive with
C and C++ and development speed competitive with Perl and Python.

We could definitely do with more such tests...!!!


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