Searching for the best scripting language,

Steve Lamb grey at
Mon Jun 14 20:26:32 CEST 2004

On 2004-06-13, Richard James <rmb25612 at> wrote:
> Are we looking at the scripting world through Python colored glasses?
> Has Python development been sleeping while the world of scripting
> languages has passed us Pythonista's by?

    Nope.  This study is bogus on one large account.

[ following lines from the 'study' ]
> if I have to write a script, I have to write it fast, it has to be
> small (less typing)

    It holds as paramount the lest amount of typing possible.  While there is
a good argument that less is more, esp. when comparing something like Java vs.
Python there is a point where that trend reverses itself.  IE, 8-10 lines to
do a "hello world" is a little too verbose.  On the other hand boiling complex
logic and processing down to a barely comprehensible mess does nothing for
long-term stability, maintainability or, indeed, even short-term programming.

    While this guy argues that less typing means faster scripts I'd wager than
in many cases where things are boiled into one liners more time is taken
debugging simple to spot errors if the script were expanded out a bit.  In
short his basic premise is flawed.  He starts out saying that one of the most
important factors is typing.

    I've worked in shell and Perl.  Haven't worked in Ruby yet.  I still
prefer Python because, even though I am typing a little more (actually, in
some cases a little less[1]) I am coding faster ovarall because I'm trying to
do it right, not tight.

[1] In reality my Perl code was often slightly larger than my Python code
because I refused to use certain Perlisms.  My coding practice in Perl was far
more rigid than the language allowed.  This was so I could have some chance of
being able to read and modify my code at a later date.  Could I have whipped
out tons of tight little one-liners in my Perl code and made it shorter than
my Python code?  Sure.  Did I want to?  Hell no.  

         Steve C. Lamb         | I'm your priest, I'm your shrink, I'm your
       PGP Key: 8B6E99C5       | main connection to the switchboard of souls.

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