large-scale app development in python?

John Roth newsgroups at
Sat Aug 23 14:00:01 CEST 2003

"gabor" <gabor at> wrote in message
news:mailman.1061597346.828.python-list at
> hi,
> at the company where i'm working we have to rewrite a part of our
> java-based application in a different language.
> there were many options, at the end python and c++ remained.
> our program is quite big, so c++ was an obvious choice.
> python remained because we have to finish the rewrite in a reasonable
> time, and python has all the necessary libraries or bindings that we
> need.
> but i got a question, that i couldn't answer:
> -you can't compile python, as you can c++ or java => there's no type
> checking before starting the program => if one programmer changes a
> method name or method signature, then how do we know we changed all the
> code that calls that method?
> how do you solve these kind of problems? i know that unit tests are a
> good thing, but i don't know if they can help in this situation?

Generally, if you follow the TDD methodology, that is, your test suite has
complete coverage and you test with every small change, you'll find
out during coding that you forgot to change something. The trick is to
have complete statement coverage, which is something that TDD does
as a matter of course.

If you've got sloppy programmers, and you don't have an automated
test suite with close to complete coverage, or you don't run those tests
after every change, you're going to have problems.

> are there any people who wrote a big program in python? how did they
> handle these problems?

There are quite a few large programs in Python. Zope comes to mind

> or python simply isn't suited to write bigger (more complex) apps?
> thanks,
> gabor

John Roth

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