Could Python supplant Java?

Dan Johnson danieljohnson at
Thu Aug 22 23:16:49 CEST 2002

"goose" <spammenotguse at> wrote in message
news:3D642411.7060902 at
> > That's largely irrelevant. First, because there are many
> > freely downloadable tools,
> true, but that doesn't make it irrelevant ... you buy the
> OS and then have to go find tools ??????

You do. It's not a problem.

> what kind of a system is that ? every system I've worked on
> (other than windows) came with at least *ONE* compiler ...
> and most let you rebuild the kernel as well ...

Windows is not the first not to; the Macintosh did not
until MacOS X.

> > third because
> > most developers are commercial
> no. You must back this up if you want me to believe it.
> Of the <20 regular friends I have, only 1 has never
> programmed. all of them, given access to SOME sort of a
> development tool, will write something (already have
> as a matter of fact)

I think you may be a little unusual in this.

> > and paying for development
> > software is not a bad thing.
> not in itself, no, but the system HAS to come with something.
> even my commodore 64 let me program it out the box, msdos
> came with qbasic ... the only computer system in existence
> that I can think of that does not come with ANYTHING is the
> current windows line-up. If systems are developer-hostile, then
> windows surely leads the rest of the field, as the others at
> the very least install SOMETHING to let you write programs
> for your machine.

I would suggest that there are other dimension to developer
friendliness, and most of them are more important than
what ships with the OS out of the box.

> > MS got where it was by cowtowing to the developers.
> no, they got to where they were by OEM licensing.
> period.
> they *never* cowtowed to developers for as long as I
> remember.

You are quite mistaken. Microsoft is very, very good
to its developers. This is the single most important thing
in putting them where they are. Had it not been for the
large stable of Windows apps, those OEM deals would
never have happened- and even Microsoft can't write
that many apps.

> If someone else developed something nice, they promptly
> got it (where do you think scandisk for DOS came from ???
> Microsoft ?, remember stacker ?)

Microsoft sometimes competes with its developers, and
they are a touch cookie when they do. But they sometimes
just buy out their developers instead, and that's very
nice, if you like dump trucks full of money.

> > Windows may not be as C friendly as Linux, but it is
> > developer friendly and, indeed, many developers develop
> > products for it.
> yes, many developers develop for it, but as you've pointed
> out in a different thread, the reason developers write for
> it is because it is so popular, never mind whether the developers
> are writing apps or viruses ...

It didn't start out populate. MS did a good job
of recruiting developers for it. They still do.

> > Also, NT 3.1 (or maybe 3.51) had the 'at' command
> > which would schedule commands to run. So I'm not
> > sure where you get your information, because you're wrong.
> > If you must type 'cron', then you can either make a batch
> > file to call at, or download cygwin.
> thats not what I was talking about ... I know you can
> *schedule*, but you cannot *script* (properly) re-read my
> sentence above, I never complained about the scheduling
> of stuff under windows, just the scripting

You really don't need any scripting to speak of to do
what you described- just pull from source control and

However, Windows does come with scripting tools
capable of rather more, if you plan something more

> > You can
> > get make from numerous sources, and nmake comes with VS.
> > Not to mention numerous build tools like Ant for java
> > (which is superior to make anyhow), and NAnt for .NET.
> >
> > As far as the multi-developer argument, you must be living
> what multi-developer argument ? I used an example above, but
> never said that it could not be done under windows. the
> question is "i want to run one command, on one machine, that
> will cleanly recompile the other 19 peoples projects and link
> it with my bits of the projects and run a test cycle on it

That's trivial.

> the lack of a proper scripting environment means that the
> rebuild and test process cannot be automated.

You don't need proper scripting to do what you
described. A .BAT file can do it. But Windows, nevertheless,
has proper scripting. You just don't need it for this.

> > In fact, most companies I've seen, at least here in Austin,
> > including and especially Java houses, use Windows exclusively
> > for the desktop and then mixed server environments, or Windows
> > only, or Unix only. But Windows on the desktop is an invariant.
> that's usually 'cos windows is the only choice for these
> companies on the desktop. Every probably keeps sending them
> mail in MSWord format, so they can't do without it. a common
> form of lock-in.

The reason why Windows is the Only Choice (tm) for
these companies is, often, than they use software available
only for it- and in many cases, that is custom software
they wrote themselves. MS tools are pretty good at that
sort of development.

If it were a file format thing, they would be far less
locked in. Lots of programs can read Office formats,
and Office is available outside of Windows anyway.

But when you have custom software, that's a whole
'nother thing. Porting a VB/Access custom app to
any other platform is just a nightmare on stilts.

You may notice that neither VB nor Access is available
on anything but Windows- even though Access is
supposed to be part of Office, and Office has a Mac

This is, perhaps, no accident.

> remember, i said  "out-the-box" way above ... out-the-box, windows
> does not let you do this ... period ... of all the systems
> in existence, windows is the only one where you have to pay more
> just to get more developers onto it.

Microsoft licensing policies are very less, er, forgiving
that those typical in the open source community, I'll
give you that. However, I'd be surprised if they were
the *only* company with such policies.

However, it doesn't matter for professional development,
because Microsoft's stuff is real cheap. They make their
money on Windows OEM licenses and the like.

For non-professional development, I grant you
that the several thousand dollar pricetag of something
like VS.NET looks more intimidating- but then,
they don't need stuff like automated nightly builds.

> yeah, but they dont come with windows. so that story is out the
> window (pun intended :-) ... the reason that other systems are MORE
> developer friendly, is because they COME with most of what a developer
> needs to develop. windows comes with NOTHING that a developer needs
> in order to develop, which is why I consider it to be the *least*
> friendly to developers.

I think unilaterally excluding everything that doesn't
come on the OS CD is a little harsh. Development, somehow,
still gets done on Windows. Perhaps other developers don't
feel obliged to stick to what came with the OS?

> so, can you answer this question:
> Which is the only system to come without a *SINGLE* development tool ?
> <insert drumroll here>
> and the answer IS ______________

Windows comes with a few simple tools, like
Windows Scripting Host and a couple of languages
for it.

That's not *much*, but it's something.

You're overplaying your hand. Yes, typical Linux
distros do come with gcc, make, and an IDE or
something like it.

Indeed, they also often come with thing like a

Linux just bundles more stuff at a lower price. That's
a legitimate advantage, but it isn't *everything*.

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