python vs perl lines of code

John Bokma john at
Fri May 19 01:29:01 CEST 2006

Edward Elliott <nobody at> wrote:

> John Bokma wrote:
>> "akameswaran at" <akameswaran at> wrote:
>>> It seems to me the discussion could actually be beneficial.  If
>>> several different coders gave similar responses, ie code
>>> line/character count comparisons, we might be able to see if there
>>> is a trend of any sort - the more "anecdotes" given and we start to
>>> have trends - or maybe we don't.
>> What's the point? So you can say: Perl code has on average 1.727 more
>> lines compared to Python?
> That's more than we know right now.  You never know what data will
> reveal until you collect and analyze it.

1.727 is meaningless. It says nothing about your code, nor mine.

> BTW I'm not limiting this discussion to lines of code.  That was
> simply the most convenient metric available.  If people have other
> metrics to consider, by all means post them.

The number $ characters per square furlong.

> More knowledge = more choice = better tools.  When all you have is a
> hammer, everything looks like a nail.  It's as simple as that.  If
> you're happy playing with your hammers, fine.  Go away and post in
> some other thread. 

At least I am not as silly to claim that hammer A is better then hammer 
B because the handle of hammer A came from an oak tree that had a owl 
hooting 13 times at the full moon 7 times a year.

>> People who just know either Perl or Python don't care much about such
>> figures, or so I hope.
> I don't know Ruby, but if you could show me it produced significantly
> shorter code with comparable readability to Python, I'd certainly look
> into it.

Yeah, I could have guessed that.

[ .. ]
> Code can always be improved, it's a question of resources.  The point
> is not what could be done better in my code, but what was done with my
> skill and my time committment, and what others have done with their
> skill and their time committment.

If we have no way to see your skills, there is not really a point.

> At some point I may post small snippets of each so others can gauge my
> style and experience, but I'm afraid it will devolve into a code
> crtitiquing fest.

At least people can learn from that. If you don't understand that 
everbody has his/her own coding style, you have a lot to learn.

>>> Ok I'm going to end with a flamebait - but I would posit, ALL OTHER
>>> THINGS BEING EQUAL - that a smaller number of characters and lines
>>> in code is more maintainable than larger number of characters and
>>> lines in the code.
>> And I think that's why a lot of people posted very negative, in the
>> hope that people would not be tempted to make the above very dumb
>> statement. 
> That's not a dumb statement, it's a sensible and testable hypothesis.

So you *do* still have a lot to learn. Isn't one Xah Lee enough?

> step, etc, etc.  Didn't your mother ever tell you how science works? 
> It's not all bunsen burners and test tubes.

Nor is it: I have have examined some random samples of which I give only 
a vague description. Now get your own random samples, and lets talk 

> To everyone who thinks this thread is pointless or a bad idea: please
> just go away.  Your objections have been noted, at this point you're
> not contributing anything to the discussion.

Welcome to Usenet. How it really works can be seen by having a peek at 
the archives. Since you love science, you'll will find the answer very 

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