Python vs. C#

Heiko Wundram heikowu at ceosg.de
Tue Aug 12 04:00:02 CEST 2003


On Tue, 2003-08-12 at 03:20, Brandon J. Van Every wrote:
> Well, I think mainstream commercial industry sees the writing on the wall
> regarding garbage collection.  But that's probably the current level of
> consensus on "yes, we need a better solution for this."  Python advocates
> tend to pooh-pooh strong typing, and I'm wondering if in a large-scale
> industrial context, if that's really a valid stance to take. 

I've used Python for most of my university projects so far (at least
where I could choose what to use), and I've had professors look at me
asking why I chose "an outsider" like Python over languages (considered
to be "stronger") such as C++ and SML (whatever...).

They only asked until they had a look at the code I had produced. :)

Where other people had written huge amounts of C++ code for a renderer,
which was incomprehensible even to the original programmer after about a
weeks time, my code remained "relatively" short and clean (I had to
write it in 72 hours), nicely structured into separate modules, and with
a well designed class inheritance scheme (which is pretty important for
a renderer, for the user to be able to integrate his/her own objects
later on).

Metaclass programming aided me a lot here. And, yeah, I love
doc-strings!

None of my competitors could offer this, whatever language they chose
(one chose Perl, all others C++...).

None of the professors even spoke about garbage collection, none spoke
about dynamic typing, they were all just amazed at the expressive powers
Python put in my hands, all with simple syntax and a without a huge STL
(such as C++s).

I was even asked to give a Python lecture later on (not in an official
course, but for the interested). :)

I don't think that "static typing" (Python is strongly typed btw., just
to correct your statement) is any concern for most people (even for most
executives, I guess my professors count as that too), just getting a
working solution for a problem quickly, smoothly and readably. And
that's what Python excels at.

> At any rate, I
> expect more years of evolution with languages such as Java and C# before
> mainstream industry starts thinking that the more exotic things Python does
> are "better solutions" for something that definitely needs fixing.

Yeah, I can agree here. But in my experience, if I can show the people
what power Python comes with ("batteries included"), after their
amazement stops, they'll all start asking which book to buy to start
learning. Even with the "power-play" Sun and Microsoft did to boost Java
and C#, Python still seems as a valid and interesting alternative to
most people I know (except those living in the "Microsoft-Universe", of
course, but I guess I'll never save them from that big black hole
anyway).

Just my 5 eurocents.

Heiko.






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