Python vs. C++ Builder - speed of development

Brandon Van Every vanevery at
Tue Jan 28 22:25:38 CET 2003

Laura Creighton wrote:
>> Patrick:
>> Is, or under which circumstances is the time which can be gained by
>> using a RAD-IDE equivalent to the time gained by using Python
>> directly?
> My guess is 'never'.

That's an extreme viewpoint.

> The problem with developing in C++ is not that
> you don't have an IDE that makes development faster, but that in C++
> there are so many ways to shoot yourself in the foot that you have
> to spend forever re-reading your code to make sure that it doesn't
> interact in nasty, horrible ways with other people's code.

Then don't interact with other people's code.  Polymorphize your own tree
where you know what you're doing, and keep the interface that everyone else
sees very very simple.  This is no different a problem of API speccing than
in any other language.  C++ simply provides you more ways to be stupid.
Nothing's twisting your arm to be stupid however.  You can count on other
people doing dumb things in their code, but if you're doing dumb things in
your own code, that's your fault.  It's not that hard to ignore most of the
"features" of C++ and just use basic class hierarchies to get simple things

> Or you spend your life debugging other people's badly designed templates.

Then don't use other people's templates.

> Or on the phone to Borland saying that you have found another bug in
> the destructors ... or ....

Then don't use Borland products.  Granted I spend my time doing 3D graphics,
and I deliberately keep the OO aspect "lean and mean."  But I've never
called Microsoft VC++ tech support for anything.  Also I've restricted
myself to mature compiler products, I will *not* jump on the bandwagon of
whatever crap MS has just put out.  Wait for a few service packs, let others
take the lumps before you switch over.

I think, to answer the original poster's question honestly, you have to
consider the complexity of what you're undertaking.  You seem to be talking
about ridiculous, corporate-dysfunctional style complexity.  Sure, you'll
have problems there with C++.  But you will also have them with Python, for
different reasons.  For instance, no type checking.  The underlying problem
is the dysfunctional corporation.  Change instead to a small team of
programmers who know how to "fly in formation" and the problems go away for
both languages.

> I don't think that it is possible to write an IDE that makes me as
> productive in C++ as I am in Python with ed(1).

I can never take people seriously who say things like this.  You like ed
because you've invested lotsa time in ed.  If you invested similar time in
any other tool, you would like it also.  Why?  Because if you like ed,
clearly you like what you know, not what is inherently a better paradigm for
text entry.

If you had said Emacs, I would take you half-seriously.  If you said you had
a mouse-driven GUI for your Emacs, because you're not the kind of genius who
can remember every keystroke, you'd have my attention on issues of
productivity.  There's nothing wrong with keyboard shortcuts, but users
should not be required to know them.

> That is because almost
> all my time spent in C++ come from some other place than actually
> writing code from scratch.  Other people's milage may vary.

Find a different job then.  Are you getting paid well for your C++
headaches?  I wouldn't put up with it if it's as onerous as you make it
sound.  Unless the money is really really good.

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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