Python vs C for a mail server

Donn Cave donn at drizzle.com
Mon Jan 30 05:39:23 CET 2006


Quoth aleax at mail.comcast.net (Alex Martelli):
| Jens Theisen <jth01 at arcor.de> wrote:
...
|> What do you do when you want to no if a certain method or function is
|> actually used from somewhere, say "foobar", it a language which allows
|> (and even encourages) that it could be called by:
|> 
|> getattr(obj, "foo" + "bar")()
|> 
|> ?
|
| "Encourages"?  What a silly assertion.  Python makes introspection
| easier than Java's Reflection, C#'s similar capabilities, and C/C++'s
| primitive dlopen/dlsym, but the existence of similar dynamic name
| resolution abilities in each of these languages reflects similar
| underlying real needs.  The functionality is there for those cases in
| which it's needed, but it's silly to use it when not needed.

Silly indeed, and why would such a thing ever be needed?  Yet it
does in fact occur in widely used Python software, in an application
where it of course wasn't really needed, rather was sort of convenient.
This is like the C enthusiast who tells you that any self-respecting
programmer won't mind accounting for storage, or the Perl enthusiast
who tells you that there's nothing about the language that encourages
hard-to-read code.  Give people a feature like this, and they will
find a need for it, to the detriment of comprehensibility.

I'm not saying that we should therefore use C++ !, but let's be
realistic about the costs of Python's benefits.

	Donn Cave, donn at drizzle.com



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