python vs perl lines of code

H J van Rooyen mail at
Sun May 21 13:05:24 CEST 2006

on Friday, May 19, 2006 11:26 PM
akameswaran at wrote:

| All I would ask is what objective evidence does either of actually
| have?  How can you know?  What is a fair way to even count line
| numbers?  From there how do we begin to objectively measure software
| quality?  That's why this discussion interests me, and why I don't
| understand why you are so adamant it doesn't work.  I'll agree that I
| have never seen line count/char count type data used for anything other
| than marketing swill and kitty litter.  Doesn't mean it can't be used.
| But first things first... and this one I think is solvable - their has
| got to be an equitable way to count how much code was written - maybe
| it isn't lines maybe it is.  In truth, since you are so opposed to the
| idea, I'd be curious if you can think of a way to measure the quantity
| of code objectively?  ANd that's it - not can we make a qualitative
| statement beyond that.  But simply can we quanitfy the amount of code
| in some fashion that allows a reasonable comparison?

This is a difficult question -  one way to measure - more or less objectively -
is to somehow figure out how many machine instructions (on some "standard"
machine - Turing?) would be generated by the code....

Even that won't tell us much - cos it will favour inline code as somehow
"heavier" than looping code...

Now we know that inline code is faster on most machines, and looping code is
more compact, - so how to say what is best?

And this only covers what you computer scientists call the "procedures" or
"methods" - the actual instructions that are executed by the machine -  how is
the memory space used to be measured and factored in?  - and the running stack
space needed?  - specially in the case of recursions....

And then how do you handle an interpreted language vs a compliled language - do
you count the machine instructions of the interpreter, or only the ones actually
executed? - and the memory consumed by the interpreter?..... - And if you count
the interpreter, why not the compiler?...

Not simple, not easy - in fact it's a minefield....

- Hendrik van Rooyen

More information about the Python-list mailing list