Why did no one invent Python before?

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at btinternet.com
Thu Jun 3 10:13:49 CEST 2004


On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 04:26:27 GMT, Dennis Lee Bieber
<wlfraed at ix.netcom.com> 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?

> 	FORTRAN goes back the tail-end of the 50s, and COBOL and LISP
> aren't too distant from it. Call it 1960.

And the power of data structures like dictionaries weren't really
appreciated till the 70's and standard *efficent* implementations
weren't available till about the early 80's. Now given that much
of Pythons innards consist of nothing but dictionaries, it would
have been difficult to build something like python(or ABC) toill
at least the mid 80's. ABC was late 80's, so not so very far
behind the state of the art...

> 	It takes computer power to process a language... Imagine having
> to pay the time used for Python, when running on a processor like my
> college mainframe 

True, although BASIC was atound in 1963 and interpreted - but
with a very much simpler syntax than Python...

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



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