Python speed vs csharp

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Mon Aug 4 17:13:43 CEST 2003

On Monday 04 August 2003 04:27 pm, Gerhard Häring wrote:
> Alex Martelli wrote:
> > [nice flame, fun to read]

Glad you liked it:-).

> I interpreted Mr. Gonzi's statement "Python is crap" to be meant for
> numerical programming. Which I can support, unless you use third-party
> libraries like Numeric, psyco or others.

<shrug> that's like saying, say, that "C is crap" for multimedia 
programming... unless you use third-party libraries like SDL.  Of _course_ 
you'll use the appropriate tools for the kind of applications you're writing
(what languages, in turn, such tools/libraries are implemented in, is quite
secondary -- if and when the pypy project is done, it will not change the
nature of Python programming, even though extensions may well at that
time have to be similarly reimplemented in Python).

Using psyco is as hard as inserting _two_ statements into your code.

You may call it "using a library", it that floats your boat, but to me it 
feels much closer to using 3rd-party optimizer tools for Fortran matrix
computations (I still remember the early-90's release of such a tool as
totally busting the "specmarks"...), using a jit-enabled JVM rather than
a non-jitting one for Java, etc.  It doesn't change the way you write
your code, as "using a library" normally implies -- it just makes your
code faster (if you're lucky;-).  How does that differ from, say, using a
newer and better optimizer as part of your favourite compiler for any
given language?  Why is it crucial to you whether such an optimizer is
"third-party" or rather sold by the same supplier as your base compiler?

If a language "is crap" as long as a needed optimizer is supplied by
a third party, then what would the magical process be that would
suddenly make it "non-crap" if the base compiler's seller bought out
the optimizer-selling company and released the oprimizer itself?  How
would such a purely commercial operation change the language from
"crap" into "non-crap"?-)

I'm afraid these observations suggest you may not have thought the
issues through.

> Perhaps it was a misunderstanding and you two can calm down now.

I'm quite calm, thanks (the flames being as fun to write as they are to 
read:-).  And Mr Gonzi has asserted he won't take further part in the 
discussion, so, unless he wants to show himself up as an outright liar (not 
for the first time), I guess your recommendations can't affect him now.

> Or just continue your flames, they're fun to read :)

Glad to hear this!  I'll no doubt flame again when the occasion should
arise (I _am_ quite prone to doing that, as is well known).


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