Python future performance and speed

Roy Smith roy at
Sun Aug 22 16:24:14 CEST 2004

Tim Churches <tchur at> wrote:
> As a population health epidemiologist whose stock-in-trade is
> manipulation and analysis of large health data sets, I have to say that
> Python's run-time speed is almost always much faster than I would have
> expected from such a dynamic language, but also almost always much
> slower than I would like, especially when compared to widely-used (but
> vastly expensive and sprawling) data manipulation environments such as
> SAS system (see which is the "industry standard" in
> my particular field.

It should not be surprising at all that a general-purpose tool will be 
beaten by a domain-specific tool in that domain.  SAS, as you say, is 
designed to munch huge numeric data sets.  That is its only reason for 
existing, and it's got 20 or 30 years of development effort behind it to 
make it do that one task as fast as possible.

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