Is Python overhyped (just like Java)?

Garen Parham nospam at
Sun Mar 30 04:34:12 CEST 2003

Ajay na wrote:

> Can some-one please explain why one would want to use Python? What is wrong 
> with C++?
> In my opinion, the problem with C++ has nothing to with the language 
> semantics.  The problem is that when people are confronted with a powerful 
> language like C++, they tend to want to optimize everything to death.  
> That's when they get themselves in trouble.
> Those who use Python know they are sacrificing a lot in terms of memory and 
> speed.  But if they took the same attitude toward C++, they can actually get 
> a lot of flexibility, code reuse, simplicity, and all the other benefits of 
> OO programming at over half the cost of using Python!  The problem is that 
> people who don't understand C++, are afraid to use the 'virtual' features of 
> that language because it's 'too expensive'.  But that's stupid...because 
> Python's 'virtualness' is even more expensive!
> Nope...I'm not trolling...I want someone to give a solid and intelligent 
> argument about why I should switch from C++ to Python!

The two languages have quite divergent design goals so they aren't strictly
comparable.  However in areas where they overlap you may want to choose
python because it has a fairly economical notation and is typically more
'productive' with its more interactive environment.

As for people wanting to optimize things to death, well, I've noticed that
there is a culture of that kind of attitude with C and C++ -- which makes
sense given that they're widely used for 'systems programming', but that 
kind of behavior can occur with any language.

It's also a bit strange that you spend so much time talking about C++.  There
is no either-or thing going on.  You can use both languages for whatever task
you like.  The universe doesn't require hegemony. 

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