Python -- (just) a successful experiment?

Paul Rubin http
Sun Aug 7 17:01:38 CEST 2005

"Paul Boddie" <paul at> writes:
> > Why do web scripters still cling to their Perl, even in corporate
> > environments?
> Ignorance. One could argue that Python should be promoted more, but
> Perl had the "cool tool" buzz a good ten years ago. Such habits don't
> fade away very quickly.

I don't think it's ignorance.  Some people really do like Perl better
than Python.  I can sort of understand why, even though I don't feel
that way myself.

> > Why hasn't Python made inroads against Java?
> I would guess that most people deploying Java want to be able to buy
> and deploy some big name product with the pretense that they can always
> switch to another big name product later on, all in the name of
> "multiple vendor support".

Come on, this is silly, Java is a lot more cumbersome for doing small,
quick projects, but Python doesn't have the language discipline or the
library support to do heavyweight projects that Java can.  There is
nothing like JSSE in Python.  There is no JDBC replacement unless you
get a third party module from somewhere.  There is no MQ.  CPython
doesn't support multiprocessing (multiple threads on parallel
processors, due to the GIL).  Python's documentation is full of holes.
Python's runtime library is full of holes.  Almost every time I use a
Python module that I haven't used before, I find bugs.  Java is
tastelessly designed and clumsy, but its language spec is very
thorough and its implementation (including libraries) is complete and
well-documented.  Python is great for recreational projects and
prototyping.  It's not yet mature enough for deploying complex,
critical applications, though maybe it's getting there (PyPy will be
an important step).

I'm not trying to bash Python--I know how hard it is to write and
maintain a complex system that doesn't have gaps.  And the Python
developers did some very nice work with rather limited resources.  But
the magnitude of sheer grunt power that went into Java just completely
overwhelms what went into Python.

> > Why is Ruby, and Ruby on Rails, getting such strong play?
> Relentless hype from blogging celebrities?

That's an interesting explanation and might be true for all I know.
But it does look like RoR has capabilities that Python (out of the
box) doesn't.

> > Applications like Zope and Plone help drive more people toward the
> > language, though the competition is stiff.
> If you've tried Plone, you must have noticed that it too installs
> itself nicely, 

I looked at Zope a little bit and didn't find it attractive.  Plone
sounds more interesting and I hope to check it out sooner or later.

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