Could Python supplant Java?

James J. Besemer jb at
Fri Aug 23 09:56:11 CEST 2002

"Bo M. Maryniuck" wrote:

> What you mean by "compile"? Python is an interpterer as Java or Perl... Or you
> mean that your Python 150K program starts ~3 min? OTOH, we need perfomance
> during run-time.

Python does rely on an interpreter for execution but everybody knows it also has a
complier that translates Python to byte codes.

The number I cited is the time for the program (which consisted only of
declarations) to compile and run.  However, runtime was 0 seconds, as, after
compilation, there was nothing for the program to do and it properly exited.  So I
carelessly called this total time the time to "compile".

However, as was pointed out my Mr. Newton, my comparison was unfair as it was
comparing a single python module to a C++ scenario with a bunch of modules.
Typically a python app would consist of multiple modules, so overall build
performance would be the same.  This contradicts Mr. Newton's earlier claim that
interpreted systems offered a performance benefit over compile/link type systems
at build time.

Then too, FWIW, if we were comparing huge monolothic modules, MS VC++ would come
out ahead again, as it can recompile individual functions and replace them at
runtime -- without exiting the debugger.



James J. Besemer  503-280-0838 voice  503-280-0375 fax
mailto:jb at

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