Why did no one invent Python before?

Russell E. Owen no at spam.invalid
Thu Jun 3 01:59:18 CEST 2004


In article <ec6dce8b.0406021449.6341a3fa at posting.google.com>,
 j_mckitrick at bigfoot.com (j_mckitrick) wrote:

>Yes, it's a silly question, but given how far we have come, why is it
>that a natural looking, easy to read, incredibly powerful language has
>appeared only recently, from a tech standpoint?
>
>I can't *believe* how much more productive I am with the built in data
>types and powerful expressions Python offers.  It made me want to quit
>my C++ job.  Well, not quite.  ;-)
>
>Seriously, why is a language like this only NOW appearing?  And aside
>from the interpreter, because while it is nice, it's not the main
>forte' of the language, IMHO.

I think smalltalk users would argue that it was done many years ago. It 
looks a bit odd at first to C programmers, but is easy to learn and has 
most of the strengths of python:
- interpreted
- automatic garbage collection
- simple and clean
- powerful
- rich set of collection types
- rich set of libraries

There are a few important differences:
- much worse for scripting
- built in GUI
- much better development environment; you really don't know what you're 
missing until you've used smalltalk's browsers, inspectors and 
debuggers. It's the main thing I really, really miss in python.

I think lisp users would also argue for their language. It's really 
weird to non-lisp users (much more so than smalltalk is to C/python 
programmers) but really powerful.

Anyway, I did not intend to detract from your praise of python. It is a 
wonderful language, and my main language right now.

-- Russell



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