Python development time is faster.

Hendrik van Rooyen mail at microcorp.co.za
Tue Nov 14 07:12:24 CET 2006


 "Chris Brat" <chrisBrat at gmail.com> wrote:


> I've seen a few posts, columns and articles which state that one of the
> advantages of Python is that code can be developed x times faster than
> languages such as <<Insert popular language name here>>.
>
> Does anyone have any comments on that statement from personal
> experience?
> How is this comparison measured?

I don't think it can be, objectively - comparing two teams,  one using language
"a", and the other python, to do  a task, is simply comparing the skill levels
of the two teams - and using the same team to do the same task in two different
languages is also misleading, because of the experience gained in the first
iteration.

Python is actually astonishing - it seems to "fit the brain" of a large number
of people - it is very easy to get started with, and is rich enough to keep
surprising you - even after considerable time hacking around with it.
It can do OO, but you can also write procedures in it, and you can even mix the
two in the same module, and most of the time it "just works" - and when it
doesn't, it is normally very easy to teach yourself what you are doing wrong by
playing at the interactive interpreter prompt.  This makes for productivity, as
you can write quite complex things in a day or so, from scratch, such as:

A single pass "assembler" for a virtual machine with 33 instructions - from
nothing to running, fully debugged, in two days.

A simple sliding window protocol - coded up from nothing in four days - mostly
spent staring into space, imagining problems, instead of coding... so the
"design" time is included... but its not working yet, as I have to write the
other side in assembler on a very small machine, which would normally have taken
me almost a month, but that will now probably take about two weeks, as I have
the Python code to translate...

And I am not a guru on this group, and I have just idly mucked around with
Python for about a year in real time, not doing it full time, or making any real
effort to study the language formally beyond lurking here - there are other
people here on this group who, I am sure, could beat the hell out of these
times, both for the design and the coding.

So to sum up my personal perspective - it is very worth while to know a little
python, even if you just use it as a prototyping language - it gets you going
rapidly...

- Hendrik





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