Why python???

John J. Lee jjl at pobox.com
Sun Sep 7 00:52:14 CEST 2003

"Michael Peuser" <mpeuser at web.de> writes:

> "Basile STARYNKEVITCH" <basile-news at starynkevitch.net>
> But you bring up Python's aspects as a "glue language". Is Python the better
> "glue language"? May be. Have look at DISLIN which (I think) is a FORTRAN
> project by nature. And SIP and WSIG are quite nice.

Mmm?  What about them?

> However the *real* programs then are the mathematical packages, OpenGL,
> simulation and visualisation.

See below.

> But may be the whole concept of programming is changing somehow - not in the
> direction of OOP; that is "by the way" so to speak. But to the following
> understanding:
>     A program is an entity that controls other entities by support of an
> underlying virtual machine.

No, I don't see why the definition of a computer program needs any

> This new view will support the existing differentiation between package
> maker ("real programmer") and scripting user ("domain specialist")

So application programming isn't "real programming" and doesn't
require a "real programmer"?  You're beginning to sound like a troll!
(though I'm sure you don't mean to)

> In this interpretation (as secondary glue language) I see a good future for
> Python.

The reality of programming in Python is that in applications
programming (and much else too, of course), it's languages like C that
are secondary.  Most of the time, it's rare that you need to drop down
there to speed something up.  And much of the time that one *does* use
C (or whatever) libraries, the major reason is simply that solid
working code already exists there, rather than some failing of Python
(though there are certainly also many cases where close to raw C speed
is crucial).

> You might already have guessed, that I belong to the generation that learnt
> programming the Knuthian way, starting with assembly language and beeing
> always aware that a van Neumann hardware interpreted their compiled code.
> And input and output were a teletype.....

And you got out of bed in the morning three hours before you went to
sleep, I know ;-)


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