What does Python fix?

Samuele Pedroni pedronis at bluewin.ch
Thu Jan 17 18:23:20 CET 2002


Aahz Maruch <aahz at panix.com> wrote in message
a26qkf$ba3$1 at panix3.panix.com...
>
> The "intolerant" clause I get, but not "too conservative"; Lisp is one
> of the oldest computer languages.

If through my readings I got more or less the history right:

Yup, but "too conservative" applies as well.
When porting software was a major pain, and still can be,
some of the hardware evolution or OS dismissal
was capable to produce a kind of software tabula
rasa.

When the Lisp Machines could not survive as a governament/military
sponsored playground for AI research, they
were a wonderful development platform, but they could
not deliver/deploy to the hardware commercial users
could widely adopt and afford. And LMs were
very expensive eclectic single-hacker(not loser) machines.

When lisp came to the early workstantions it could
not really compete inside what was an already
C-centric culture,

PC-class machines were for a long while
too underpowered for lisp.

This is a different era from the era where
lisp flourished.
Call it PC/Workstations/M$/Unix, C
era, it is a different one and for long it has
been a performance obsessed era.

Python and other scripting/dynamic
 languages or even
some new attention that Lisp draws, signal
that maybe we are very slowly moving out
of that, to a kind of renaissance

But my feeling is that still too much software
that could be written, e.g. in Python, is
still written in C/C++. Which is a bit of
a waste of energy, epecially for free/open
software done voluntarily.

Java (and equivalently C#) is the
mainstream small step in the "right"
direction, with GC, some dynamism
and got-right modularity,
but is not really incredibly more
produtictive, and it is funny to think
that it is such way, because it partecipates
to the static-typing credo (the containers
not so much but this will change :), AND
because it should be good for programming
your enterprise software solutions but
your micro-wawe oven, or a portable
phone or a tamagotchi TOO <wink>.

Ranting off.

Samuele.


















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