Python speed vs csharp

Alex Martelli aleax at
Mon Aug 4 15:09:21 CEST 2003

Siegfried Gonzi wrote:
> Maybe you cannot read. But I wrote in my first post that I blindly "copy
> and pasted" the original code and that I didn't check wehter (* x x) is
> faster. This was not the point.

I can read better than you can write (a criterion that is not hard to
meet).  You used neither the phrase "copy and paste" NOR the adverb
"blindy" in your "first post" (to this thread) -- liar.  What you wrote
was quite different and "bigloo-specific":

The Bigloo code could be a bit improved because I do not know wheter
using (expn x 2.0) introduces a bottleneck in Bigloo. If there are only 

Apart from your creative innovation in mis-spellings of the poor innocent
word "whether", it's clear that you do not know whether raising-to-the-
power-of-two is importantly slower than multiplying-by-itself in just
about ANY programming language -- what I keep pointing out is that the
_C_ code would surely be improved by this tiny change (it speeds up by
JUST two times on my machine... trifles, surely...?).  This shows you're
not an experienced coder of numerically intensive codes, period.

> Again, my intention simply was: there is more than just Python. People,

Nobody ever denied that.  Python's own interpreter is coded in C (though
in the pypy project we're trying to do something about that;-), so it's
obvious to everybody that "there is more than just Python".

Python just happens to be the best overall choice for application-level
programming (as opposed to, say, operating system kernels, device drivers,
and the like) in most situations.  This fact stands in sharp contrast to
your previous idiotic assertion that "it's crap" (currently softened to
"there is more than just it", I see) -- interestingly accompanied in your
own previous posts by the contradictory assertion that "it's okay" (if,
that is, one is pragmatic).

> if their time budget allows it, should investigate those alternatives.
> If they think Scheme is shit oh Lord nobody cares and nobody will impede
> them in going/comming back to Python.

If they have nothing better to do with their time, investigating a huge
variety of programming languages surely does appear a neat idea to me
(but then, like many other computer enthusiasts, I do like programming
languages for their own sake -- most users consider learning such tools 
a price to be paid in order to be able to solve their problems, so their
evaluation of your suggestion may differ from mine).  In the galaxy of
programming languages, Scheme is definitely an interesting one (the
"stalin" compiler, back when I last tried several extensively, seemed
even faster than the "bigloo" one, but the underlying language is still
Scheme in both cases), particularly thanks to the excellent book "SICP"
(now freely available on the net, and very, very instructive).  But if
you do want to suggest to people that they explore other alternatives,
you'll find out that starting out by describing their current choice
as "crap" is definitely not the best way to "make friends and influence
people".  Your skill at that appears to match that at numerically
intensive programming, spelling, and other fields already mentioned.

> Sorry, Alex you are one of the idiots and bigots who believe that Python
> is the best since sliced bred and butter.

Assuming "bred" is meant to stand for "bread" (rather than being the
past form of the verb "to breed", which is what one might normally
assume;-) -- I don't particularly care for pre-sliced bread, nor for
putting butter on my bread (I'm Italian, remember?).  I do believe
that Python is currently the best alternative for application-level
programming, but you have not shown any support for your insults
against me on this score (nor for just about any of your assertions).

I know Scheme (and many dozens of other languages), and use the most
appropriate one for each task -- these days, my opinion (supported by
very substantial evidence) is that Python happens to be the most
appropriate language for most tasks I tackle (except that C keeps
being preferable in several cases, when I work on lower-level code).
Since my choices are (obviously -- I'm an engineer!) "pragmatic"
ones (i.e., ones oriented to get the best results IN PRACTICE), then
by your own previous admission my choice is OK.  So how can that
choice, by itself, identify me as an idiot and a bigot?  Thus, your
insults are not just unjustified and unsupported -- they're actually
self-contradictory with respect to other recent assertions of yours.
In other words, you keep justifying and reinforcing my opinion that
you're a sad travesty of a human being.

> When I was younger it happend that I was a similar idiot and believed
> that "functional programming" in all its glory will salvage this world.

Oh, and were you convinced you could spell, too?

Functional Programming is a very neat mental toy, and maybe one day
I'll come upon a real-world reason to USE it for production code.  I'm
not holding my breath, though.  My opinion that Python is the best
currently available language for most tasks isn't based on some kind
of preconceived evaluation: it's based on real-world experience over
a huge variety of programming tasks, which I have, over the decades,
tackled using a similarly huge variety of languages, in some cases by
myself, in most cases as a part of a team of programmers.  I've seen
excellent programmers just fail to GET such (intrinsically excellent)
languages as Lisp and Scheme variants of all sorts, Prolog and its ilk,
functional programming languages -- try and fail to get any real
productivity with them.  I've seen excellent programmers dive head-first
into complex higher-level languages such as Perl, and come up with huge
masses of unmaintainable code.  SOME people can no doubt make very
effective use of each and every one of these tools, but experience has
shown me that they just don't generalize well.  For other higher level
languages, such as Rexx, Icon, Python, and Ruby, my experience suggests
instead that programmers (including both experienced ones and ones with
less experience) tend to become very productive with them, very fast,
and write good code, suitable for team-work and maintenance.  Out of
these, Python is currently my choice (and Ruby a close second, but there
are aspects of Ruby -- signally its "dynamic-all-the-way" nature -- that
suggests to me that, while it may be even better than Python for such
purposes as "tinkering", it's intrinsically inferior for the purpose of
building very large and complex system which will need to be maintained
for many years by a large variety of people) -- in part for pragmatical
reasons, and I see nothing shameful in that.

> For me Python is crap and not any longer worth to consider. But look, I

If so, then hanging out on this newsgroup shows your ability to manage
your own time in doing things of interest to you is on a par with the
several other intellectual skills we've already mentioned.

> even introduced Python at our institution some month ago. A colleague

If you DO think it's crap, as you repeatedly said, then such
behavior is inexcusable -- you deliberately _damaged_ your "institution"
(once a common euphemism for "mental hospital", you know...) by
introducing there what you consider "crap".  Again, the amount of
internal contradiction in your posts is either laughable or very,
very sad, depending on one's viewpoint.

> asked me and I showed him Scheme. He didn't like the parantheses and I
> adviced him to buy some Python books. Indeed he did it. What is
> important here: he is happy that I am not any of this idiots who falls
> for and believes that his own programming language is the best thing.

Python is not "my own" programming language (if anybody's, it's Guido
van Rossum's) -- it's simply the one I currently consider as the best
available for most production tasks in application development.  I, in
turn, have repeatedly advised (note the correct spelling) people who
came to this newsgroup in order to ask for changes to Python, to take
up other languages instead (e.g., Scheme, Dylan, or Common Lisp, if 
they're *really* keen to have powerful macros in their language).  The
difference, of course, is that I do not consider such languages to be
"crap", as you have stated about Python -- I would not damage another
human being by suggesting he use something I consider to be "crap".

> I will stop this discussion because I am used to discuss with people who
> can demonstrate to have at least a minimal amount of brain.

We'll see if you're a liar once again (wouldn't be surprising, considering
the amount of lies we've already seen in a few posts of yours) or if for
once you keep your word.  Your stated reason for "stopping this discussion",
of course, doesn't hold water -- you've already repeatedly (if grudgingly)
conceded some of my points (indeed, you've explicitly said you thought one
of my posts would be useful to others) and therefore you've already,
unwittingly to be sure!, demonstrated that you admit I do have "at least
a minimal amount of brain".  But so what -- lies, obfuscation, muddled
thinking, insults, confusion, self-contradition -- I've seen nothing but
that in your posts; you appear to think as well as you spell, which IS
saying something.  So long (hopefully)...


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