python speed

Isaac Gouy igouy at
Wed Nov 30 21:41:46 CET 2005

Peter Hansen wrote:
> David Rasmussen wrote:
> > Frithiof Andreas Jensen wrote:
> >>From the speed requirement: Is that correspondance chess by any chance??
> >
> > Regular chess at tournament time controls requires speed too. Any pure
> > Python chess program would lose badly to the best C/C++ programs out
> > there now.
> >
> > I would also like to see Half Life 2 in pure Python.
> True, but so what?  Why did you suddenly change the discussion to
> require "pure" Python?  And please define "pure" Python, given that the
> interpreter and many builtins, not to mention many widely used extension
> modules, are coded in C?  And are you not allowed to use any of the
> performance-boosting techniques available for Python, like Pyrex or
> Psyco?  Why such restrictions, when these are things Python programs use
> on a daily basis: these are *part* of Python, as much as the -O switch
> on the compiler is part of C/C++.
> Okay, let's compare a "pure" Python program (if you can define it in any
> meaningful, practical way) with a "pure" Java program, running on a
> non-JIT interpreter and with optimizations turned off (because, of
> course, those optimizations are umm... somehow.. not "pure"...?).
> Judging by the other posts in this thread, the gauntlet is down: Python
> is faster than Java.  Let those who believe otherwise prove their point
> with facts, and without artificially handcuffing their opponents with
> non-real-world "purity" requirements.
> -Peter

That form of argument is listed as one of the principal forms of
illogical thinking in "Being Logical" D.Q.McInerny - "An Inability to
Disprove Does Not Prove"

"The fact that there is no concrete proof against a position does not
constitute an argument in favour of the position. I cannot claim to be
right simply because you can't prove me to be wrong."

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