Why I love python.

Nick Patavalis npat at efault.net
Fri Aug 13 23:07:06 CEST 2004


On 2004-08-13, Dave Brueck <dave at pythonapocrypha.com> wrote:
> Nick Patavalis wrote:
>> 
>> I also mentioned web-browsers, ray-tracers, circuit-simulators. I
>> could add word-processor, spreadsheets, video editing programs, and
>> GUI toolkits to the list. Are they still too exotic?
>
> No - but I still don't think they reflect anywhere near a majority of 
> the development that goes on.  

Yes, the majority of development goes on little *glue programs* that
take data from a database, and format is as XML/HTML, or aggregate and
analyze data stored in a database, and stuff like that. But for all
these to be possible a massive amount of *infrastructure* is
required. And this infrastructure cannot be created in Python. So you
don't say that Python isn't a glue language, but that the greatest
percentage of development that currently goes-on *is* glue-stuff
development.

This of-course presupposes that the infrastructure *is* available,
that it is stable, and that it doesn't have to be modified or
augmented. For me a "primary" language is not the language in which
you develop most of the software, but the language in which you
develop the current and future software
*infrastructure*. Quantitatively most of the software is glue-stuff
anyway!

Put yourself in this position: Its a few years ago (say 1998 or 1999),
and no graphical web-browser exists for Linux. You are planning to
develop the "iso-standard" web-browser for this operating
system. Would you do it in Python? Remember that no HTML parsers
exist, no decent HTML renderers, the GUI toolkit is more or less
primitive, and the low-end desktops runs at about 200-something
MHz. You might argue "this is not the case today", but how can you
preclude that *similar* challenges do not occur today, or will not
occur in the future? Are you saying that all the computationally hard
problems have been already solved? Or are you saying that, as a Python
programmer you don't want to deal with them? Another example: It's
2004 again, and you decide to scrap and replace the age-old X11 window
system; do away with it and start from scratch. Build a moder
windowing system; 3D all over, fully network transparent, with widget
support on the server-side, fully object oriented interface, and so
on. How much of it would you be able to code in Python? How much
*more* would you rather be able to code in Python?

/npat



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