Straw poll on Python performance (was Re: Python is far from a top performer ...)

Peter Hansen peter at
Mon Jan 12 15:15:07 CET 2004

Paul Rubin wrote:
> Peter Hansen <peter at> writes:
> > This is my "straw poll" question:
> >
> >   Do you spend a "significant" amount of time actually optimizing your
> >   Python applications?  (Significant is here defined as "more than five
> >   percent of your time", which is for example two hours a week in a
> >   40-hour work week.)
> Yes, absolutely.
> > Algorithmic improvements that you would make regardless of implementation
> > language do not qualify, and wasting time optimizing a script that you
> > run once a year so it takes ten seconds instead of fifteen also does not
> > qualify because you certainly didn't need to do it...
> Sometimes I'll take the time to implement a fancy algorithm in Python
> where in a faster language I could use brute force and still be fast
> enough.  I'd count that as an optimization.

I would count it as optimization as well, which is why I qualified my
comment with "regardless of implementation language".  Clearly in your
case that clause does not apply.


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