python vs perl lines of code
nobody at 127.0.0.1
Thu May 18 01:29:55 CEST 2006
brian d foy wrote:
> You have to note that rewriting a program, even in the same language,
> tends to make it shorter, too. These things are measures of programmer
> skill, not the usefulness or merit of a particular language.
I completely agree. But you have to start somewhere.
> Shorter doesn't really mean anything though, and line count means even
> less. The number of statements or the statement density might be
> slightly more meaningful. Furthermore, you can't judge a script by just
> the lines you see. Count the lines of all the libraries and support
> files that come into play. Even then, that's next to meaningless unless
> the two things do exactly the same thing and have exactly the same
> features and capabilities.
For an objective measure of which language/environment is more optimal for a
given task, your statement is completely accurate. OTOH for a
quick-and-dirty real-world comparison of line counts, and possibly a rough
approximation of complexity, the libraries don't matter if they offer
more-or-less comparable functionality. Especially if those libraries are
the standard ones most people rely on.
I'm not attaching any special significance to line counts. They're just a
data point that's easy to quantify. What if anything do they mean? How
does one measure statement density? What's the divisor in the density
ratio - lines, characters, units of work, etc? These are all interesting
questions with no easy answers.
> I can write a one line (or very short) program (in any language) that
> does the same thing your scripts do just by hiding the good stuff in a
> library. One of my friends likes to talk about his program that
> implements Tetris in one statement (because he hardwired everything
> into a chip). That doesn't lead us to any greater understanding of
> anything though.
Of course. Extreme cases are just that.
UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)
complangpython at eddeye dot net
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