Python vs. C#

Brandon J. Van Every vanevery at
Sun Aug 10 22:55:30 CEST 2003

Michele Simionato wrote:
> I would not waste my time in learning something which could
> disappear in few years (Microsoft's policy in supporting programming
> languages is well know).

Microsoft does almost all of its internal development in C# now.  It is not
going away.  C# is, essentially, the .NET Framework.  The advantages of C#
as an enterprise language over C++ are quite obvious, and of course
Microsoft is going to use its homegrown, not Java.

I think what C# has got going for it, is it's much better than C++ to work
with, it's got mature tools support, and performance is claimed to be good
as long as you don't create garbage collection hell.  Comparing C++ to
Python, Python has obvious higher level advantages.  But comparing C# to
Python, Python isn't much higher level than C#.  They've got "similar
stuff," with Python adding some exotic features.  Python gets style points,
but tools maturity, ubiquity, and future count for more than style points.

I'm beginning to think that within 5 years, no new applications will be
written in C++.  People will still be using legacy C++ libraries, but all
new development will be in higher level langauges.  Java and C# are the
obvious languages that are not going away.  Python?  What industrial entity
is going to champion Python?  It takes a Sun, a Microsoft, or overwhelming
utility to push a language.  For instance, Perl has become popular because
it's overwhelmingly useful for sysadmin and web admin.  But I am not seeing
Python's overwhelming utility compared to other languages.  You can do apps,
you can do web admin, but most people are doing Java, C#, or Perl.  And
unlike C++ they aren't bad languages, so Python is not offering an obvious
"slam dunk" remedy.

Brandon Van Every               Seattle, WA

20% of the world is real.
80% is gobbledygook we make up inside our own heads.

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