Python vs. C++ Builder - speed of development

Brandon Van Every vanevery at
Tue Jan 28 22:53:25 CET 2003

pu wrote:
> 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?

Python doesn't provide a GUI directly.  So first you need to ask yourself
what GUI toolkit you're using.  Maybe it has a RAD-IDE and you can compare
apples to apples.  If not, if you insist on comparing apples to oranges,
then the question is "When does hand-coding beat RAD-IDE?"  It's not really
a Python question per se.

Hand-coding definitely beats RAD-IDE when you can narrow your application
GUI requirements to something trivial.  For instance, a lot of game
developers try to get everything done with a simple display window and
trivial menus.  By design, there's so little GUI to code that RAD-IDE is
pretty useless.  It'll just auto-generate a lot of unreadable spaghetti that
gets in your way.

Hand-coding definitely beats RAD-IDE when you must have control of the
application's event loop, and the RAD-IDE in question chooses to get in the
way of your event control.  RAD-IDE doesn't have to get in the way, but
often these products have come out of a "corporate schmuck" mentality that
they just wanna own everything and the user is only interested in banging
out zillions of inefficient widgets that are seldom used.  This is the
perinneal "Should I use MFC for my game?" question.  The answer is no, you
shouldn't.  MFC's event control is a complete pain in the ass.  It puts a
lot of things in your way and it's far more trouble than it's worth.

RAD-IDE definitely beats hand-coding when you must produce zillions and
zillions of widgets.  This is a rapid prototyping mentality: you know you
need a *lot* of GUI elements, there is no way to simplify, you know you need
dozens and dozens on a given screen, and you have no idea how exactly it's
all going to come together.  Doing stuff in text is kidding yourself, you

Between the extremes of "almost no widgets" and "zillions of widgets," you
have tradeoffs.  Personally I find RAD-IDE generated code totally
unreadable, and I hate having inscrutible components in my apps.  It all
depends on whether something saves pain and development time, either now or
later.  Your mileage is going to vary with your problems.

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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