Could Python supplant Java?

Greg Ewing see_reply_address at something.invalid
Wed Aug 21 08:26:02 CEST 2002

-brueckd at wrote:

> On 20 Aug 2002, FISH wrote:
> I just scanned through our entire internal Bugzilla list and 
> see two things:
> 1) The production bugs in C++ and Java are similar to the ones in Python.
> 2) None of the Python bugs would have been found at compile time in a 
> statically-typed language.

I can attest to that, too. I'm not sure exactly how big
Pyrex is, but it's probably getting on for 10,000 lines
by now. It's been in use by my early adopters for a few
weeks, and while I've received lots of bug reports, none
of them have involved anything that would have been
caught by static typing.

I sympathise with the feelings of those who are uneasy
about lack of compile-time checks -- I have found those
feelings hard to shake off at times, too. But, unintuitive
as it may seem, experience seems to indicate that it
doesn't make much difference in practice.

Something that's perhaps worth pointing out here is that,
while Python isn't statically-typed, it's still completely
type-SAFE. Something like C without static type checking
would be an absolute disaster, because of the potential
for corrupting memory if you get things wrong. But Python
remains well-behaved, regardless of what screwy things
you do, and that counts for a lot.

Greg Ewing, Computer Science Dept,
University of Canterbury,	
Christchurch, New Zealand

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