Python future performance and speed

beliavsky at aol.com beliavsky at aol.com
Sun Aug 22 23:52:41 CEST 2004


Roy Smith <roy at panix.com> wrote in message news:<roy-37CEFC.10153622082004 at reader1.panix.com>...
> In article <cg94oc$2e6$1 at panix3.panix.com>, aahz at pythoncraft.com (Aahz) 
> wrote:
> 
> > In article <278de0e.0408211605.426e5129 at posting.google.com>,
> > Neuruss <luismg at gmx.net> wrote:
> > >
> > >It seems there are quite a few projects aimed to improve Python's
> > >speed and, therefore, eliminate its main limitation for mainstream
> > >acceptance.
> > 
> > What makes you think speed is Python's primary limitation for mainstream
> > acceptance?
> 
> 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).

There are reasons other than performance why one might prefer C++ or
other languages to Python -- not to say that they are objectively
"better".

(1) Many people think that the static type checking of languages like
C++ is a virtue, and some of them avoid Python because it is dynamic.
I don't want to start another debate but just want to note that
programmers are divided on this.

(2) The Python approach to OOP is very different -- looser -- than
that of C++ and has less support for data hiding. For example, one can
add an attribute to an object anywhere, which seems like a dubious
freedom to me.

(3) The beginning of a Python function only tells you about the
arguments, not the result. I prefer not to scan the entire body of a
function to see what it returns. Compiled languages like C++, Fortran,
and Pascal put the argument and result info in one place.

(4) Python does not look like C++. Some programmers think that any
alternative to C++ must still look like it. I think this argument is
weak, but Java's cosmetic similarity to C++ probably has boosted its
popularity.



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