Perl Vs Python

Steve Holden sholden at
Fri Mar 7 17:08:45 CET 2003

"Anand B Pillai" <abpillai at> wrote in message
news:bd993a2f.0303070309.41b02cc3 at
> The 'hot stuff' going for python is its clean syntax, in build module
> support for doing all-and-sundry under the sun and powerful data types
> like tuples, dictionaries (I dont know whether perl has the last two).
> This makes python programming a breeze and allows for quick
> prototyping.
Perl has hashes, which are close to Python dictionaries. Tuples don't differ
significantly from arrays, except in their immutability. Perlmongers would
probably say that Perl allows for quick prototyping, and I couldn't
disagree. In my opinion it's Perl's excessive brevity that limits its
usefulness. Clearly it's a popular language with many satisfied users.

> The disadvantages I think is probably speed, poor documentation among
> other things. My experience in some hobby apps I have written is that
> python is atleast 10-20% slower than C/C++ and 1-5% slower than Perl.
> Documentation as such is poor, since we have one or two accredited
> python
> books out there when compared to scores of Perl books. People (like
> you)
> ,rely more on the internet and newsgroups than standard documentation
> for
> fixing their python related problems.
The speed issue usually isn't an issue, and when it is then it's easier to
incorporate C and C++ code into Python than Perl, I believe. As the author
of one of the *many* Python books now availabe (OK, not as many as Perl, but
the situation is incomparably better than it was two years ago), I think you
underestimate the strength of the current literature.

>  Also some modules in python are not as matured as Perl. For example,
> http/url libraries. People have still problems with python's
> urllib/urllib2/
> httplib. Perl has more standard and consolidated libraries for
> internet
> support. Anyway prebuilt library support is more for a Perl programmer
> than
> for a python programmer.
>  Last but not the least perl is going to release 6.0 and python is
> still
> hovering around 2.x.x.
This hardly matters. If the numerical value of releases really meant
anything then it might be an indicator, but compare Python 2.2 with a
comparably-numbered Perl release and see what you think. Perl 4 introduced
much that people now think of as "classic" Perl.

>  Finally it comes to personal choice... I prefer python to perl
> because I really love the language, but I think Perl is more powerful
> than python at present!
> sismex01 at wrote in message
news:<mailman.1046365015.29192.python-list at>...
> > > From: Max M [mailto:maxm at]
> > > Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2003 5:16 AM
> > >
> > > ....
> > > And my problems dissapeared! It was like hosing ice with hot
> > > water...
> >
> > Man, this has GOT to be the quote-of-the-week! :-)
> >
> > heh heh heh :-)
> >
and, of course, it was!

Steve Holden                        
Python Web Programming       
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