Python future performance and speed

Peter Hansen peter at
Sun Aug 22 17:23:54 CEST 2004

Neuruss wrote:

>>What makes you think speed is Python's primary limitation for mainstream
> Why would someone reject to use a language that is clean, very well
> designed, intuitive, expresive, flexible and a pleasure to use?
> Perhaps the fact that i is 100 times slower than c...

Statements like that serve only to demonstrate the narrowness of
thought of the writer.

In some cases, often contrived examples or with poorly written code,
Python can be about 100 times slower than C.

Much more often it lies somewhere between 10 and 30 times slower.

In a surprising number of cases, it is faster than 10 times
slower and in a few cases it can even achieve rough parity.

And if we have to rehash the old arguments again for those who haven't
taken the time to search the archives, we can point out once
more things like how a Python program will be completed much
sooner than the C program, resulting in lots of extra time to
run the program (and many programs are not run very often).

We can also point to the fact that most performance issues are
more heavily affected by poor algorithms than by anything else,
and the Python programmer has both the tools and the time to
improve the algorithms whereas the C programmer will not...


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