New project coming up...stay with Python, or go with a dot net language??? Your thoughts please!

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Tue Oct 4 19:16:42 CEST 2005


Luis M. Gonzalez wrote:
> So, we can safely say that Boo is "almost" a static python
> implementation. Wether you like or not, is another problem, but please,
> do not insist with your reiterative anti-boo ranting.

I can't comment on Boo beyond the documentation's description of the
language, but the question of what makes Python the language it is (or
was) - what one would need to add or remove to stop Python being Python
- remains very interesting. Boo appears to have some relatively simple
type inference (compared to things like Shedskin) and has various
static typing constraints presumably to fit the underlying virtual
machine. Seeing through the syntax, do such things keep it sufficiently
like Python? (Remember that Java looks like C++ but it has been
suggested that it is closer to Smalltalk in character.)

Looking not very far down the description of Boo's type inference [1]
reveals some pretty fundamentally different semantics, although one
could argue that they are "better" according to some criteria. I'd
argue, considering other evidence, that Boo isn't enough like Python to
be a kind of Python - not necessarily a criticism, though, but an
observation. Meanwhile, the temptation to add similar type annotations
to Python should be resisted, in my view, since the book certainly
isn't closed on alternative strategies for compile-time checking and
program optimisation.

Paul

[1] http://boo.codehaus.org/Type+Inference




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