WHY is python slow?

Glen Starchman glen at enabledventures.com
Fri Jun 8 18:35:34 EDT 2001

> now, if we accept the postulate that premature programme optimisation
> is an evil and that python has been around much longer than ruby, has
> much better documentation and that in Bruce Eckel's words:
> "...I usually find that this question [Do you have any opinions about
> the Ruby language, especially compared to Python?]is asked by someone
> who is considering learning to program, and was snagged by the fact
> that Ruby is new, and perhaps thinks that it's going to be the next
> great thing like Java. From everything I can see, it's not. For some
> reason, the creator of the language saw Python and decided to do a
> clone, and people who had never used Python thought it was a good
> idea. Harsh, maybe, but that's my impression: if you've used Python
> at all, you wouldn't give Ruby a second glance. "
> <http://www.mindview.net/Etc/notes.html>
Ouch! That's quite a stinging criticism. However, the statement "The
author saw Python and decided to do a clone" is asinine. Ruby
inherits more from Smalltalk than from Python. Ruby has many
Perl-like qualities without the syntactic mess. Ruby pretty much
kicks ass.

Now, before I am accused of starting (or encouraging) a language
war, understand that Python is still far and away my favorite
language (although currently I am doing more with the Java/Python
hybrid Jython). 

Both Python and Ruby (and, begrudgingly, Perl) have a place in the
developer's toolbox. I look at it like this: if my mood fits Python,
I code in Python... if I feel like a little Ruby, I code it in Ruby. 

Language wars are counterproductive.

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