Language fluency (was Re: BASIC vs Python)

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at btinternet.com
Mon Dec 20 09:42:41 CET 2004


On 19 Dec 2004 16:22:03 -0500, aahz at pythoncraft.com (Aahz) wrote:

> >I'm curious about that last statement. Are you saying that if you
> >write, full time, code for "production", that fluency will decrease? Or
> >that the nifty recent features of Python (generators, etc.) are not
> >useful in "production" code?
> 
> Well, much of my code is maintenance rather than new code, ...
> addition, our base version is currently still 2.2 

Both points are quite common in the wider world of industry.
At work we have Python available on our corporate web site but
its still v 1.5.1 because few people use it and its rarely
updated. On our departmental server we are at 2.2 and the next
uplift will not be till next May at the earliest. Thats when 
the annual tools audit gets done...

Python is not our primary language, in fact its not even on our
preferred tools list, its only tolerated because a few of us have
managed to sneak a few things in. But even our copy of gcc is
version 2.9.5 and C++ is one of our 3 primary languages. A lot of
this has to do with risk avoidance - better the devil you know
and compatibility over lots of different machines.

And finally, whether it be maintenance or new code many
organisations tend to write the same kind of programs. You get to
know the language features you need but not the ones that are out
of your area. (A long time ago I used to write embedded software
in C, it was only when I went on a training course for C++ that I
realized I'd forgotten how to do string handling in C - we only
had LEDs for I/O...! :-)

Alan G.
Author of the Learn to Program website
http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld



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