Python - the worst language ;)

Stuart D. Gathman stuart at
Mon Aug 19 17:21:12 EDT 2002

On Sun, 18 Aug 2002, Ron Stephens wrote:

> Heck, I thought I weighted things so that Python couldn't lose ;-)))

> I figured any one who was most interested in choosing the most popular
> language would choose Java over Python.

> > With some honest attempts at weights, the answer always comes up
> > 'Java' - except if I make the 'Popularity' weight near zero.  Then it
> > comes up 'Python'.

No surprise, but I write everything in Python and Java, with the
occasional C extension for either Python or Java.  With both systems, you
pay for safety and higher level semantics - either at startup (for Java
JIT) or interpretation overhead at runtime (for Python or Java interp).
There are Java implementations (AS/400) that pay the startup cost only
once the first time new code is run (persistantly caching the compiled
classes and tracking dependencies).  I can imagine a Python implementation
(using slots and other things) that is much faster than current C-Python,
but it may only exist in my imagination.  C-Python is already the fastest
high level dynamic scripting language out there AFAIK.

With a virtual machine architecture as efficient as AS/400, there is no
reason to drop to C (or assembler) - except for low level extensions. None
of the VMs I can actually afford are that good - but they are good enough
that I rarely have to write in C/C++.

One of the big draws of Java, in addition to binary portability and speed
(after startup), is the security.  Software sandboxes are enforced at
a fairly low level and really work.  This is great for protecting against
broken, as well as malicious code.

Stuart D. Gathman <stuart at>
Business Management Systems Inc.  Phone: 703 591-0911 Fax: 703 591-6154
"Confutatis maledictis, flamis acribus addictis" - Mozart background
song for the Microsoft "Where do you want to go from here?" commercial.

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