Python future performance and speed

Peter Hansen peter at
Sun Aug 22 17:20:42 CEST 2004

Roy Smith wrote:

> Speed is the primary limitation for mainstream acceptance of high level 
> (aka scripting) languages in general.  I can think of no reason why so 
> much software is still written in languages like C++ other than 
> performance (or at least, the perception of it).

I'm glad you added that parenthetical comment, because I'm nearly
certain that it is *not* actual experience with Python, and
disappointment with its speed, that is the cause.

Far more likely, it seems to me, is that the primary limitation
for mainstream acceptance of scripting languages(*) in general
is ignorance.  More specifically, a lack of knowledge of their
capabilities or ability to handle the job.  I'm quite sure there
are far more people out there doing C++ or Java work who have
never *heard* of Python, than people who have heard of it and
have the perception it is too slow for their work, though
appropriate in other ways.


* I limit this to scripting languages since it's quite certain
that the mainstream *has* accepted high level languages quite
fully.  The last time I checked, Java and C++ (even C) were
widely considered to be high level languages.  Has someone been
raising the bar while I wasn't looking?

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