Could Python supplant Java?

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.net
Mon Aug 19 19:26:35 CEST 2002


netvegetable <deathtospam43423 at altavista.com> wrote in message news:<Xns926F906924CBFAusYourStandingInIt at 130.133.1.4>...
>
> Well here's just one reference among many ......
> 
> http://www.ecommercetimes.com/perl/story/16804.html

But this article just seems to be yet another shallow analysis of the
industry published on some Web site by someone who has made the
incorrect assumption (of many incorrect assumptions) that, for
example, most people choose their operating system. In fact, many
consumers probably couldn't care less about their operating system and
might not even know what it is if you asked them.

One thing that the author does recognise is that applications do
motivate people, but in the "consumer space" as marketing types might
classify it, it may well be the *type* of applications that matter
rather than the brand names themselves. For example, does the average
punter demand Microsoft Outlook Express or do they just want to "do
e-mail"? Meanwhile, there are other motivating factors in the
"corporate space" that override brand name software, too, in many
cases.

Where this crosses over into programming languages such as Python and
Java is that many developers with a certain degree of choice in the
matter (as opposed to end-users who often don't have much choice) are
likely to choose their language on the basis of how much they like the
paradigm and the available functionality for programs written in that
language, rather than which brand name is stamped on a language or a
library, although the standardisation that goes on with Java APIs does
tend to legitimise that language for development of certain kinds of
systems.

Just as I find it hard to believe that the majority of consumers walk
into their local computer superstore and insist on Microsoft purely
out of brand obedience, so do I also find it difficult to believe that
informed developers choose languages on the basis of the name alone.
It's surely far more important even to consider the reputation of that
language amongst developers in the same situation as yourself, for
example.

I believe that Python could do with a bit more standardisation in
certain domains, if only for increased interoperability within those
domains rather than for "corporate endorsement" purposes, but it
remains a very useful tool to be familiar with, and with Jython you
can certainly enhance your Java development experiences without
necessarily betraying your belief in the eventual dominance of the
Java virtual machine. ;-)

Paul



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