Python Speed Question and Opinion

beliavsky at beliavsky at
Tue Jun 8 18:09:54 CEST 2004

Peter Hickman <peter at> wrote in message news:<40c58636$0$8219$afc38c87 at>...


> You are correct, it is just that if all you are concerned about is speed then 
> assembler is what you need. However when you put this to people you find out 
> that what they really want is 'easy to write fast programs'. Assembler comes 
> with many hurdles but you are not going to get any faster using a higher level 
> language.

Do you have experience to back up your claims?

I have not written assembler, but sources I respect tell me that good
C++ and Fortran (especially Fortran 95 with its array operations)
compilers DO let you write programs in a high-level language that are
more efficient than the hand-coded assembly you might produce (taking
infinitely longer to write).

Given an infinite amount of programming time, very few programmers are
going to write assembly code that outperforms LAPACK (in Fortran) for
linear algrebra or FFTW (in C) for Fourier transforms.

Your point that Python is a productive language despite its slower
execution speed is valid, but don't pretend that the natural
alternative is assembly language.

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