Interesting comments about Py on LT

Peter Hansen peter at
Wed Aug 7 05:11:47 CEST 2002

"Martin v. Loewis" wrote:
> > Does it have standard APIs for all of: database connectivity
> > (regardless of DB)
> Yes, there is a standard API for that (DB-API)
> > remote method invocation
> No, not a standard API.

Sometimes I think a _defacto_ standard is as good... when there's
only one implementation for something in Python, as perhaps with,
say, XML-RPC, that seems to make it as good as a standard.  At 
least it does for me.

> > 3D graphics
> Not a standard API.

Is there more than one OpenGL package available for Python?
If not, I'd call the existing one another defacto standard.
If someone else creates a competing API (and often the
question of "why do that?" would arise if the initial
choice was good) then we lose our standard.

> > multimedia,
> Here I ask what an API for multimedia would do.

Presumably whatever the one for Java does... :)

> > XML,
> Yes, standard APIs - even before Java had them.

He probably would insist that there be only *one* API
for it to be "standard"... another red herring perhaps.

> > naming and directory services, messaging, distributed transactions,
> None of these in a standard API.
> > cross-platform GUI,
> Yes, Tkinter. Actually, more than one cross-plattform GUI.
> > componentization (like JavaBeans),
> Yes, dynamic loading of modules is possible.
> > subsetting for embedded applications, etc?

Another thing Python does: it wraps existing standard APIs for 
things with thin layers than simply Pythonize something.  
(Sounds like "Cometize it!" (tm))  That might even give it more
standard APIs for things than Java has.  Of course, then they
would turn around and call that a bad thing...

> No need for an API: you have the full source to customize for an
> embedded application.

To be fair, not quite the same.  Java is a better fit for really tightly
constrained embedded systems.  We're not going to see Python running
on Smartcards very soon, at least not with the existing micros.  Nor,
perhaps, would we want to.  Leave Java the embedded niche, and Python
can continue to succeed in a niche where Java fails miserably: 
application scripting.

> > Give me a break. Python is nowhere near being able to handle what Java
> > can. Name some excellent Python apps... I dare you. Name some real
> > Python apps that are the result of a real development team and not
> > just some pet project of a computer science student. You cant.
> As an application: Zope, the Reportlab packages. Too many in-service
> CGI applications to name them.

And the commercial telecom alarm monitoring system made by my employer.  
And our embedded controller module which runs Python... hmmm, I guess
Python can be effective in the right embedded application, too. :)


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