Python 'Lets Me See The Forest'

James Moughan moughanj at tcd.ie
Tue Jun 8 07:59:16 CEST 2004


> >--Kamilche
> 
> I am no C++ expert, to put it mildly, but couldn't some of your problems
> have been solved by using C++ instead of C? C++ has data structures like
> vectors, lists, and maps, with many algorithms in the STL to work with them.
> Using references to pass arguments, one can avoid low-level pointers in many
> cases. C++ strings are easier to use the C char's. There are templated classes
> to replicate some of the functionality of Python's Numeric/Numarray or Fortran
> 90/95 arrays. C is more of a low-level systems language than an application
> programming language -- comparing it to Python seems unfair to me, when the
> choice of C++ exists. 
>

Heresy, but - often I find C++ a more natural way to express
algorithms than Python.  In particular iterators (OK, being blunt -
pointers) are often a great way to break down complexity.

Unfortunately, the amount of junk you have to deal with to get there
is just not worth it.
 
> For strictly numerical tasks Fortran 95 is in my experience both more readable
> than Python (because of variable declarations and the ability to define constants)
> AND much faster. You do not have to suffer Python's performance hit to program
> in a clean, high-level language.
> 
> (I like Python, but there is so much pro-Python propaganda in this newsgroup
> that some anti-Python messages may be a healthy corrective.)
> 

I keep hearing great things about F95; I'll have to try it out.

> 
> 
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