Why python???

Alex Martelli aleax at aleax.it
Sat Sep 6 15:45:04 CEST 2003

> However, contrarily to Michael's belief, it won't surprise me at all
> that some big numerical computations are driven by scripting languages
> (scripts which call big number crunching primitives coded in C or C++
> or Fortran). At least in Europe, several number crunching applications

In the US, too; LLNL financed a lot of Python development (including
the Numeric package and many of the "big number crunching primitives"
that cooperate with it), for example.

> are driven by scripts. Of course, a huge fraction of the CPU time (ie
>>= 98%) is spend in numerical routines coded in Fortran or C. Only a
> tiny fraction of the work is spent in interpreting scripts.

Of the computer's work. yes; for the programmers' work, however (and
often the "programmers" in such cases are actually scientists in
other fields, who need to use computers as tools in their research),
the productivity boost afforded by higher-level languages is still
very considerable (I'm quite sure you realize this, Basile, just
thought it had better be pointed out explicitly anyway, since one
guy who's participating in this thread appear to be quite thick).


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