Python Speed Question and Opinion

Peter Hickman peter at
Tue Jun 8 11:26:12 CEST 2004

Jacek Generowicz wrote:
> Peter Hickman <peter at> writes:
>>If you want pure speed you need assembler! No ifs, ands or buts.
> Lots of "if"s and "but"s actually. While it is theoretically possible
> to write any program you want, in some assembly language, and to write
> it in a way which overcomes some low-level inefficiencies introduced
> by higher-level languages, in practice you won't find many people
> writing efficent large-scale programs in assembler. Higher-level, more
> expressive, languages allow you to try out different approaches more
> easily. Getting the architecture of your program right, is far more
> important for overall speed of execution that the low-level details
> are.

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 

It's just like marathon running, first they say they want to win but when they 
see the training plan they settle for 'a respectable position'.

No one that has ever said to me that all they are concerned about is speed has 
actually gone for assembler, they tend to start eulogizing 'rapid development', 
'ease of debugging' and other claptrap.


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