Article of interest: Python pros/cons for the enterprise

Bruno Desthuilliers bruno.42.desthuilliers at
Fri Feb 22 10:11:23 CET 2008

Jeff Schwab a écrit :
> Bruno Desthuilliers wrote:
>> Carl Banks a écrit :
>>> On Feb 20, 8:58 am, Tim Chase <python.l... at> wrote:
>>>>> You Used Python to Write WHAT?
>>>> """
>>>> Furthermore, the power and expressivity that Python offers means
>>>> that it may require more skilled developers.
>>>> [...down to the summary...]
>>>> Python may not be an appropriate choice if you:
>>>> [...]
>>>> *  Rely on teams of less-experienced programmers. These
>>>> developers may benefit from the wider availability of training
>>>> for languages like Java and are less likely to make mistakes with
>>>> a compile-time, type-checked language.
>>>> """
>> (snip)
>>> C++ is a compile-time, type-checked language, which means it is
>>> totally safer for newbies than Python.  Yep, your big company is
>>> totally safe with newbie C++ programmers.
>> Mouarf ! Brillant demonstration, thanks Carl !-)
>> (and BTW, +1 QOTW)
> NB:  This is not a troll.  (Please, nobody try to be cute with a "yes it 
> is" reply.)

NB : standard disclaimer about all the following being MVHO.

> c.l.python seem to be about the most close-minded of any of the 
> currently popular language-specific news groups. 

May I suggest you take a tour on c.l.lisp then ?-)

> It's just taken for 
> granted that Perl and C++, two of my personal favorite things in this 
> world, inherently favor ugly, buggy code. 

I wouldn't say so.

It's a fact that C++ is a really complex language with quite a lot of 
room for BigMistakes(tm), and that there's something like a 
'my-code-is-more-cryptic-than-yours' culture in Perl. You cannot 
seriously argue on this.

Now this has nothing to do with the respective merits of both languages 
(FWIW, Perl, as a 'Practical Extracting and Reporting Language', beats 
any other language I know pants down), and I'd be sorry if you were to 
confuse what is mostly on the friendly jokes side with mere bashing. You 
may not have noticed, but quite a lot of people here have a working 
experience with either C++ and/or Perl.

As for my above comment, it doesn't imply anything else than the fact 
that C++ is way harder to learn than Python (or Ruby etc...), and that 
bugs in C++ code are likely to have way more nasty results. The joke is 
not "against" C++, but about people asserting than static type checking 
is safer than dynamic type checking without realizing that what is 
really important is*runtime type checking - something C++ doesn't provide.

NB : As a side note, and while being myself a bit passionated when it 
comes to languages and my job in general, I would not go as far as 
labelling any language or technology as "one of my favorite things in 
this world".

> That is the farthest thing 
> from the truth as I see it.  You can (and plenty of people will) write 
> terrible code in any language, including Python.

Indeed. Bad coders write bad code, period. And I think we've all been 
bad coders one day, and that we're all still bad coders sometimes.

> To use Python effectively, you have to know something about how it 
> works, and the same is true of Perl and C++. 

And of any other language. Now a decent C++ or Perl programmer can be 
proficient in Python in a couple weeks and become a master within a year 
at worst. And it seems that non-professional, occasional programmers 
(hobbyists, gamers, scientists, and any other kind of power user) are 
able to get their job done in Python without much pain.

> But a newbie who's 
> learning from a decent source (avoid the "C++ for Morons" style books) 
> is likely (I contend) to be writing semi-useful programs about as fast 
> as with Python,  and to be writing heavy-duty work-horse programs far
> sooner.

Sorry but I don't buy this.

> Perl is, and always has been, a language for getting your job done; when 
> everything else failed, Perl and C++ got me through some of the toughest 
> tasks of my life.  Translating file formats, automating system-level 
> tasks...  And now that the C++ standard library is getting regular 
> expressions, I can replace plenty of glued-together scripts with 
> single-language, cohesive applications.
> I like Python, and I think it's got a brilliant future ahead of it.  It 
> is rapidly becoming the dynamic language of choice, especially for C++ 
> projects.  I am glad that Python can be extended straightforwardly in 
> any C-linkable language.  But this bashing of other powerful languages 
> on the basis that they're hard to read and hard to use correctly is, 
> frankly, nonsense.

Stating the obvious is not bashing. In my last shop I was working with 
(very talented BTW) Perl programmer, and he was the first to make jokes 
on Perl's abuse of cryptic syntax.

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