Python should try to displace Java

Doug Tolton dtolton at
Tue Aug 12 12:02:59 CEST 2003

On Tue, 12 Aug 2003 01:54:12 -0700, "Brandon J. Van Every"
<vanevery at> wrote:

>Doug Tolton wrote:
>> On Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:43:08 -0700, "Brandon J. Van Every"
>>> - in 5 years, nobody will be doing significant amounts of new
>>> application development in C++.  The writing is on the wall: garbage
>>> collection is essential.  Any C++ code will be support and legacy
>>> libraries.
>> That's a ridiculous blanket statement.  People will be doing C++
>> development for a long time beyond that.  There are people still
>> writing Cobol for crying out loud.
>Do you honestly believe that people are doing a significant amount of new
>application development in Cobol, as opposed to maintenance work?
Apparently MS does, they were promoting pretty heavily not
too long ago.
>>> - Microsoft is already implementing said strategy across all levels
>>> of the company today.  Microsoft developers don't do much C++
>>> development anymore. Various upcoming products are being written
>>> entirely in C#.
>> <sigh> just what we need.  More buggy slow products from MS that have
>> Memory Leaks the size of the Mississippi.  C# is not a good
>> development platform yet.  Heck they are practically still in the
>> standard MS beta period.  Everyone knows not to use a MS product on
>> version 1.0
>Ignore the trend at your peril.  A MS product is one thing.  A MS initiative
>across the entire company is quite another.  The last time they did that,
>Internet Explorer put Netscape in the doghouse.  Never, ever, ignore or
>diminish what Microsoft decides to do as an entire company.
Well, I can pretty much ignore and diminish MS all I want.  The only
reason they beat Netscape was because of the *incredible* abuse of
monopoly powers coupled with the inept decision making of Netscape.
Netscape was great when it came out, but over time it started to suck
more and more and IE started to suck less and less.  It wasn't because
MS was had better technology really, they just jacked people on the
backend if they ran a Netscape solution.  Netscape ran out of money
and the ability compete.

How are they going to crush Mozilla, Chimera or Khtml?  You keep
touting Mindshare.  Whose mindshare is growing MS or Open Source?  If
you can't answer that honestly then you really are trolling.
>>> - The "higher level language" playing field is crowded: C#, Java,
>>> Perl, and Python.  Mainstream industry does not need and will not
>>> make room for 4 higher level languages.  Any of these languages has
>>> to grow at some other language's expense.
>> This statement is really vague, and has almost no factual basis.  If
>> there were only four programming languages the world would be a very
>> dull place.  You forgot to mention Delphi, Visual Basic, Power Builder
>> and a host of others.  There is room for a lot more than 4 programming
>> languages.
>Actually, Visual Basic vs. C# would be a good discussion in another
>newsgroup.  Because the books about .NET Framework that I'm reading, show
>how VB is being modded and borgged to fit the Intermediate Language.  Which
>is essentially C#.  I wonder if it would be reasonable to say that in 5
>years, nobody will be doing new app development in VB, it'll all be C#?  But
>I'll take that up with the VB crowd.
That's good
>>> - Python will never displace C# on Windows.  It's Microsoft's home
>>> turf and you can't fight directly with The Beast.  You will see UNIX
>>> boxes running Python, not Windows boxes.
>> That's a bold statement, considering the abysmal adoption rate of C#.
>Within Microsoft, the adoption of C# is universal.  That tends to have a
>powerful effect on ISV Windows development over time.
Really, who cares what MS does?  How does MS using C# affect Python?
You have yet to establish any kind of Causal connection.

Here it is straight, Python has been around going strong for over 10
years now, inspite of lack of a corporate pimp.  Why is that?  What is
it that MS is *suddenly* doing that is going to kill Python?  Why is
the Python mindshare going to *suddenly* evaporate and go to C#?  You
have nothing to back any of those statements up.  They are pure
unadulterated BS.
>> C# isn't the dominant windows programming language currently, rather
>> its Visual Basic.  Java has far more applications written for Windows
>> than C# does.  MS really shot themselves in the foot when they went to
>> dotnet, essentially the adopted the Java platform 8 years after Java.
>> Now they are playing catchup with an inferior product.  I doubt
>> they'll ever catch up to Java overall.
>The problem with your thinking here is there's very clear evidence that
>Microsoft can and does catch up to and surpass technologies that they have
>fumblingly cloned.  In fact, that's the basic Microsoft corporate
>philosophy.  Version 1.0 sucks, 2.0 is ok... 5.0 actually is a really good
>product and then the competition can't catch up anymore.  Example: DirectX.
>When it started it was complete garbage.  Nowadays it is technically
>superior to OpenGL in most areas.  Why they don't finally implement doubles
>and put OpenGL out of its misery, I'm not sure.
I could be wrong but I didn't think OpenGL was open source.  If it
isn't, your argument isn't really a good point then.
>Why can MS catch up?  Because Open Source people assume their technological
>superiority and rest on their laurels.  They think they don't have to market
>because they are technically superior.  Also, their ranks are populated with
>strong engineers who don't *like* marketing, as a matter of basic
>personality.  They never get it in their heads that they have to
>counter-market to some degree in order to hold the line.  If you don't do
>any marketing, Microsoft completely out-markets you and then you die,
>technical merit or not.
Hmm...interesting point.  Too bad there is simply no factual basis for
it.  If Microsoft completely out markets everyone and they die, why
are there still so many Unix machines around?  The only thing that has
made any headway against the Unix establishment is Linux.  Not many
people switch and go to Windows 2000 Server from a Unix machine.  A
lot of people go from windows to Linux though.

Ignore Open Source at your own peril
>>> - Sun is about to die.  It has done nothing for anyone lately and
>>> has no further tricks up its sleeve.
>> People have been saying this for years.  I'll believe it when I see it.
>Read a paper.
Ohh...the paaaaper said it must be true.  They aren't out of
business until they are out of business.
>>> - Sun has failed to make Java live up to its claims of universality.
>>> Java is for all intents and purposes simply a widespread programming
>>> language, not a portable computing environment.  Portable computing
>>> environments are, in general, a pipe dream as long as Microsoft is
>>> around.  It will always be Windows vs. open standards.
>> They must give you a good edjumacation at the Redmond campus.  Java is
>> by far the best portable computing environment available.
>Care to name a concrete example?  A testimonial?
Omg - it suprises me that anyone would argue this.  Name a better
portable computing environment?  Java is by *far* the most ubiquitous
environment.  Seriously, name anything out there that is even close.
>>> - Ergo, Java is the weakling of the litter for Python to attack.
>> No factual basis for this statement.  Java and Python are really
>> entirely different things.  Python is meant as a scripting language,
>> Java is a Systems programming language.  It is meant as an alternative
>> to C++, Python isn't.
>You're saying Python isn't useful as a systems language?  Then it is already
man, you have no fear to pull stuff right out of your ass.  You must
be a marketing guy.
Apparently we have different definitions of what dead is.  I don't
know about you, but I would be fine with the python community staying
this size, shrinking or growing.  To me its about the language, about
the elegance of the technology, about it's utility to me.  Some people
just don't get that.  I have no desire for Python to have the same
mind share as VB, because I don't want to have to answer all the
questions on how to write Hello World by people who probably have no
business programming in the first place.  I'm sure that's an elitist
snob attitude, but I think MS does a greater disservice to people by
hiding the technical details and making them think they can run
mission critical services when they are in all reality ill equiped to
do so (Windows NT/2k, Sql Server, Exchange, C#...need I go on?)

>> Who does Python have to defend itself against?  Python is Open Source.
>> The only way it's going to die is if everyone stops developing it and
>> it stagnates.
>You got it!  And development stops when a langauge loses all meaningful
>mindshare.  What is the battle of mindshare?  A marketing battle.  It is not
>a technological battle, except in the grossest terms of complete
>incompetence.  Time and again, the marketplace has proven that kludgy but
>well marketed products carry the day.  They only fail when they absolutely
>can't do the job.
Well development hasn't stopped, doesn't appeared to have slowed down.
In fact if I'm any judge it's been speeding up.  Compare that to the
erosion in the MS world.
>> If that hapens it will be because something *significantly* better came
>No, it is not an engineering meritocracy.  Look at a company like DEC.
>Wonderful technology company.  Couldn't market its way out of a paper bag.
>That's a warning for this c.l.p crowd.  Don't sit around congratulating
>yourselves on how superior your techology is.  Recognize the strategic
>competition and market against it.
You completely miss the point man.  Python and OSS isn't about
marketing to the masses.  It's about giving us cool shit to work with.
People like you will never get that.  But that's ok, because morons
like you who use languages and tools simply because they are popular
will continue to get owned when we face you head to head.

I don't mind Microsoft tools, because when I compete with the typical
MS zombie, I win everytime.

Microsoft didn't succeed due to Marketing.  They didn't succeed due to
strategic positioning.  They succeeded because they lied to IBM and
told them they had an Operating System.  They got lucky and happened
to be at the right place at the right time.  While the Unix world was
fractured and bickering.
>> Python doesn't have to defend
>> itself, your Microsoft background is showing through here.  C# is by
>> far the weakest language of the four.  It is buggy, slow and immature.
>> It has the smallest user base, the least amount of industry backing
>and is 100% backed by all the resources of Microsoft.  It will not go away,
>and its shortcomings will be fixed at a blistering pace.
blistering?!?  wtf are you talking about.  MS doesn't do *anything* at
a blistering pace.  Are you talking about how they've fixed all their
security flaws at a blistering pace?  Or are you talking about how
they've fixed the optimization problems with Sql Server at a
blistering pace?  Or are you talking about how it took DirectX till
version 8.0 to surpass OpenGL at version 1.0?  The only relation MS
has to blisters is that they are like an STD.
>> and a community that is rising up against it's benefactor.
>Huh?  Care to explain?
get a paper
>> I think
>> you dramatically overstate it's chances.  Historically Microsoft
>> switches technologies every 3 or 4 years.  That only gives C# about 2
>> years to go before it's dead in the water like every other MS
>> "Innovation".
>What part of "100% committment across the company" don't you understand?
>You really are blind.  You don't live in Redmond, you can't conceive of
>having access to this level of information.  And who in c.l.p woudl tell you
>these things?
What part of Open Source and *immune* to Microsoft don't you
understand?  I think *you* are blinded by the shadow of redmond.  Get
out into the real world, people who don't live in the shadow of the
tower don't tend to hold it in as high of regard.

>Well, you've been warned.
>> Historically
>> those with the best technology and the best economic system prevail
>> against inefficient and inferior models.
>You have *got* to be kidding me.  Intel??!?  Windows??!?
Obviously you *aren't* a student of history.  You think that Windows
and Intel have won.  You think Open Source developers are resting on
their laurels thinking smugly about their superiority.  You are sadly
mistaken on about many things.  MS won a battle, they certainly
haven't won the war.

Doug Tolton

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