Could Python supplant Java?

James J. Besemer jb at
Fri Aug 23 07:52:09 EDT 2002

Daniel Berlin wrote:

> > > 3. Tell me how even this small example program could be made 10X better
> > > than it's C++ equivalant:
> > >
> > >
> >
> > What??? After all the talk of 100K+ programs you cite a 300 line
> > C++ program?? ;-)
> And one written poorly, to boot.

> Not algorithmically, but in that it obviously should be using
> numeric python, since it's completely compute intensive.

I agree numerics would be more suitable.  At the time I was interested in comparing the base
speeds of the two languages.  I almost did a third version but lost interest in the project.
[Actually, IIRC, I tried downloading and installing Numerics, ran into some problems and gave up.]

Then too, I'm sure there are some C++ vector and image processing libraries that would have
collapsed my C++ code.  To compare apples and apples I wanted a small app written from scratch in
both languages.

Too, from a programmer productivity standpoint, I would think we'd all agree that having to resort
to Numerics is a slight negative.  Would be more fair to count it as part of Python if it were
included in the standard distribution.

> Numeric python would help that, actually, since rather than your

> (I'm doing this off the cuff).

That's a good point and would save a few lines, eliminating the for loops in a few places.

Before your post I was expecting Numerics actually would make the code longer.

> It would be a *whole bunch* faster, too (orders of magnitude).

I'm especially curious to see how close it would come to the C++.

> I should point out that I can't get the C++ version to work right on my
> Linux box, either with Intel's compiler, or g++ (after taking out the
> pointless stdafx.h include, etc).

Hmmm.... never tried it on Linux.  Dunno why it would be different.

I'll look into it.

Thanks for the info.


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

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