How big can a Python program be?

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Wed Aug 18 17:55:58 CEST 2004


vronskij at post.sk wrote:

>>What are you actually asking?  What technical limitations,
>>such as maximum line count per module, Python might have?
> 
> Well this is maybe difficult to define. Programs reach some limit and
> become unmanagable. This is one reason why we have OOP, UML etc.

Yes, that's true.

In this respect at least Python is fairly widely considered to
have a leg up on much of the competition.  One of the biggest
reasons is that it makes the code much more maintainable
(because of greater readability for one thing) than the same
amount of code in many other languages would be.

>>And more importantly than anything: why do you want to know
>>such things?  
> 
> Simple. Can you make an ERP in Python? Or is Python limited to little
> nice scripts or small programs with nice GUI?
> We are thinking to start a huge project, which could be hundreds of
> thousands of lines huge. I would finally know the answer, but it is
> probably better to ask first...

Ah, excellent... yes!  No problems.  In fact, I'm near certain there
was someone around here one or two years ago talking about making
a large ERP system in Python.  Don't know who that was, or whether
they might have shipped it yet...

At my last place of employ, we used Python to develop a system
that had something like 60,000 lines of code that we wrote, and
which built on Zope (and, later, Twisted), which had I believe
over 100,000 lines of code.  And of course a line of Python code
corresponds to quite a few lines of C code (one group's analysis
says it's a 10:1 ratio: http://www.pythonology.com/success&story=wingide).

Here are some other references for you:

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-list/2004-August/233130.html

http://www.pythonology.com/success

http://www.mindview.net/WebLog/log-0036  (Bruce Eckel)

This newsgroup's archives:

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=large+projects+group%3Acomp.lang.python.*

-Peter



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