Is there a "Large Scale Python Software Design" ?

Peter L Hansen peter at
Mon Oct 18 21:22:00 EDT 2004

Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> Andrea Griffini wrote:
>>I proposed python as the main language for our next CAD/CAM
>>software because I think that it has all the potential needed
>>for it. 
> Wouldn't it have been better to ask these questions BEFORE proposing
> python as (presumably) a Great Solution?  IMO, as great as python is,
> it isn't appropriate for projects that are large and include many
> developers.

I don't know what Jonathan's experience with using Python in
large teams and projects is, but mine includes four years
as Director of Software Engineering at a wireless tech company
and a team that ran between ten or fifteen people, and a very
large amount of code.  We found Python to be *very* appropriate
for this and of course anything smaller.

> The benefits of static typing, not least among which is the vastly
> superior ease of creating tools that "understand" the language,
> outweigh python's advantages in an environment when many people are
> writing a lot of code.  

While it appears true that it is easier to develop certain
tools for statically typed languages, it's not at all apparent
that this small benefit outweighs the very significant advantages
that Python brings to large-scale development, and to large-team
development.  I'll add "especially when using test-driven
development and any agile process", and to be perfectly honest
I'm not sure I would recommend Python nearly as strongly if one
was forced to use a traditional, non-agile approach to the work.

My past posts on the subject have covered this a number of times.
I have to admit I haven't seen anything from Jonathan on this
topic, so I can't say how his experience compares with mine, nor
why he would feel the way he does.


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