why python is slower than java?

Eric S. Johansson esj at harvee.org
Sat Nov 6 16:12:30 CET 2004

Alex Martelli wrote:
> Hans Nowak <hans at zephyrfalcon.org> wrote:
>>John Machin wrote:
>>>Or is this a joke/troll?? I can't believe the "unimelb.edu.au"; surely
>>>a forgery.
>>Is it just me, or is the climate in c.l.py getting less friendly to 
>>newbies?  In any case, 
> Interestingly enough, I sort of share your perception -- and I have
> noticed the same thing, and seen it remarked upon by others, in other,
> completely unrelated newsgroups as well, such as it.comp.macintosh.

I think it can be explained by donor fatigue.

I've experienced this on a couple of projects where the initial 
developers/intellectual foundation are very helpful and a lot of work 
and they get burned out.  The Next Generation comes along and doesn't 
quite know enough to be able to handout ready answers but tries real 
hard and get frustrated.  Users get frustrated and then as you point 
out, the clueless twits start dominating the conversation.  Sort of an 
intellectual approximation of Gresham's law.

I know from my perspective, I have been reluctant to really talk much 
about what I've done with Python in developing the camram anti-spam 
system because of fatigue of a different type.  It is a radically 
different system and the very odd thing is that ordinary users get it in 
a heartbeat and many technologists fight it with every fiber of their being.

so as a result, I ask questions trying to describe the abstract case of 
what I'm trying to do so that I don't get distracted down a rathole of 
defending the application.  Needless to say, I suspect others are doing 
the same thing and it's really really hard to describe the abstract case 
in a way that's clear.

now I'm going to throw out another radical idea for dealing with donor 
fatigue: I will argue that we might want to start including in the 
headers of mailing list/newsgroups a dana reference.  If you are 
familiar with Buddhist culture, dana is an expression of generosity.  A 
gift given in response to a priceless lesson.  There is no expectation 
giving and there is no expectation of receiving. 
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dana.html  therefore, with a dana 
header, someone who is happy with the answer to a question could gift 
some money to the recipient.

I'll argue that some form of compensation system is necessary to help 
combat donor fatigue.  We all live for reward stimuli be it money, sex, 
chocolate.  Compulsory "pay for the answer" systems don't work well 
because you have no assurance that you'll get an answer you can use. 
The flip side "pay for the cheapest answer that meets your needs" does 
not encourage participation because it's usually a financial race to the 
bottom.  I think the middle path of Dana is the most likely to succeed 
although it won't make anybody rich.  You contribute and maybe somebody 
will thank you for it.  You'll know that it was given in the spirit of 
generosity and kindness, not because of a contractual requirement.

another advantage of this idea is that it builds on the existing 
infrastructure of mailing lists and newsgroups not a walled garden of a 
web site somewhere.

There are some challenges connecting the dana id to financial systems 
and e-mail/news clients.  But these are known problems with solutions 
and with tools like Thunderbird, we can easily make modifications and 
make them available.


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