A story about Python... sort of

Dave Brueck dave at pythonapocrypha.com
Thu Jul 3 21:08:27 CEST 2003

On Thursday 03 July 2003 10:25 am, Max Khesin wrote:

> I am not sure where we disagree. This is exactly my point. The statement
> "
> Engineering Lessons
> -------------------
>     1. C/C++ is no longer a viable development language
> "
> is pure rubbish. C++ is still great for certain kinds of projects,

FWIW, he goes on to say that he's referring to using it for applications level 

>  and
> there are lots of open-source and proprietary projects to prove this. I
> mean, is Linux (or Windows) 'not a viable project'?? 

Well, again, neither of those are "applications level" projects. He probably 
could have emphasized that portion of his opinion better.

I agree that his position was probably taken a little too strongly, but it 
does have some merit. For example, I'm a professional developer by trade and 
by hobby and I stopped using C++ about 2 years ago (except for an occasional 
Python extension module before ctypes came about) and I have no plans to ever 
go back because, for me, it is too expensive to develop in C++.

If I _must_ drop to a lower-level language temporarily (after exhausting other 
avenues like Pyrex, Psyco, or even PyInline :) ) I'd be willing to use C a 
little, or may a C-with-simple-classes style of C++, but I doubt I'll ever 
use C++ again for much at all, and even then I'll use only the tiniest subset 
of C++'s features possible.

For me the language is too big, has too many pitfalls, and it forces me to 
manage too many little details. If Python were to become too slow or too 
weird I'd migrate to another high-level language but life is too short to 
mess with a language any lower-level than you really need to, and for the 
most part C++ now falls into that category for me. In that respect I agree 
with the guy who wrote the article - for me C++ is fading into history just 
like assembly did once upon a time, and I'm glad.


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