python vs c#

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Wed Sep 22 11:18:35 CEST 2004

Max M <maxm at> wrote:

> Alex Martelli wrote:
> > If you must troll, at least troll with some skill, "julio".  Better
> > still, as many have already suggested, just go away, thanks.
> Well, not to feed the troll, but there is a few relevant points in it's
> posting.

(Please, please, please: "its", not "it's"... pretty please...)

> When writing big systems, it is nice to be able to have an enviroment to
> code in. Eg. an IDE.

Many people agree with you, enough to provide a commercial audience for
WingIDE, BlackAdder, Kommodo, ActiveState's addin to Microsoft Visual
Studio that lets you use VS as an IDE for Python, ...; and open-source
constituencies for plugins letting you use Eclipse, as well as self
contained IDEs.  Nobody forces you to use one, but if you like them,
they're there.

> self-educating system would be of a big help. A system where 
> introspection was well supported.

I've never used any language with better introspection facilities than
Python, not even Lisp.

> They do it in Z3 by making the programmer make more work, but it could
> probably have been nice if the language was able to do more of the work
> in that regards.

The day the _language_ starts being designed to help IDEs to the
detriment of programmers who prefer not to use them, is the day I switch
to Ruby, Smalltalk, Common Lisp, Dylan, or ANY other language who keeps
being designed for human beings, not for tools.

> An IDE that could make dynamic introspection on a system like that, 
> would be of a big help. I think that static typed systems might be 
> easier to write an introspective IDE for. This is an issue when the 
> system get's a lot bigger than the language.

I see your point (and a solid type system, like Haskell's, would surely
be more helpful in this regard than wobbly ones like Java's or C#'s).
But I consider the advantages of runtime typing to vastly surpass the
advantages of the simplification that compiletime typing can give to
compilers and other static analysis tools (IDEs included).

If you disagree, and crave compiletime typing, there is a huge array of
compiletime typed languages for you to choose among, including ones such
as bobo, designed to use compiletime typing but otherwise offer some
other Python advantages.  The only sensible course of action for a
compiletime typing fan would seem to be to try out any or all of those
other 1000 languages, rather than fighting to foist such typing onto
those of us who consider runtime typing superior, and indeed one of
Python's greatest strengths.


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