Python + Java knowledge

Steve Holden steve at
Wed Oct 20 13:33:50 CEST 2004

Maurice LING wrote:

> Frohnhofer, James wrote:
>> I have the same problem.  My 9 to 5 is using Java 1.1 (actually Visual 
>> J++) --
>> don't ask . . .
>> That wasn't a problem in terms of skills and knowledge (and fun), 
>> after I got
>> my kids to bed I would fire up IntelliJ and work on any of my pet Java
>> projects.  But now that I've got the Python bug, I'm afraid my Java is
>> slipping.  I haven't even tried out 1.5.
>> I was thinking of moving to Jython for my pet projects, but Jython 
>> appears to
>> be 2 minor versions behind straight Python.
>> I don't have a solution or advice, only commiseration.
> I am amazed about people like Eric Raymond that can pick up and use a 
> dozen language, how did they do it? It is equally amazing that 
> programming jobs these days require half a dozen programming languages 
> known. I came with a background in Pascal and bits of C, and some xBase 
> languages, then picked up Java and Python. Considering that my 1st 
> bachelors degree is in biochemistry, I may be proud already...
It's always been necessary to adapt your programming to the available 
languages - much more so in the old days, when typically there wouldn't 
be a large choice of languages for any specific piece of hardware.

> Programming itself does not tax on the knowledge of a language to its 
> fullest but debugging does. Sometimes when you email to API developers 
> for help on that API, they may come back with a "that may be a <your 
> language> specific problem, it works out well with <my language>." 
> Someone did say this "citizenship is an abitrary institution whose main 
> objective is to discriminate"...... From the other end of the world, I 
> applaud EU for tearing down country barriers.

People who only know one or two languages regard programming as a 
language-specific skill, whereas older hands understand that programming 
is programming is programming, and are prepared to use whatever tools 
come to hand (while still having their favorites).

In programming I'm afraid that for some the barriers still remain. As a 
European first and an expatriate Brit second I'm glad to see the 
*economic* barriers between European countries being lowered, but it 
would be a sad day if the cultural diversity of Europe were to cease 
being of interest and importance.

> As mentioned in my post on 'reverse jython', I am envisioning the day 
> where mixed language programming is a reality.
> maurice

It's always been a reality - I write as one who mixed assembly language 
and Algol 60 back in 1967. The goal of making it *easier* to mix 
languages is approaching ever-so-slowly, as system complexity is 
increasing faster than language implementations can keep up.

Holden Web LLC +1 800 494 3119

More information about the Python-list mailing list