python scalability

Larry Bates larry.bates at websafe.com`
Thu Jul 10 17:47:38 CEST 2008


Tim Mitchell wrote:
> Hi All,
> 
> I work on a desktop application that has been developed using python and 
> GTK (see www.leapfrog3d.com).  We have around 150k lines of python code 
> (and 200k+ lines of C).  We also have a new project manager with a C# 
> background who has deep concerns about the scalability of python as our 
> code base continues to grow and we are looking at introducing more 
> products.  I am looking for examples of other people like us (who write 
> desktop apps in python) with code bases of a similar size who I can 
> point to (and even better talk to) to help convince him that python is 
> scalable to 300+ lines of code and beyond.  I have looked at the python 
> success stories page and haven't come up with anyone quite like us. One 
> of my project managers questions is: "Are we the only company in the 
> world with this kind and size of project?"
> I want to say no, but am having trouble convincing myself, let alone him.
> 
> If you are involved in this kind of thing please get in touch with me.
> 
> Thanks,
> Tim

It is not clear what "scalability" means to a desktop application?  When maximum 
calculation speeds are required, you can drop into C libraries from Python with 
ease.  If this is about making use of multiple cores on a machine this link 
(http://wiki.python.org/moin/ParallelProcessing) covers most of the solutions 
that can be implementing in Python.

Another poster has suggested that you would need 1500K lines of C to replace 
300K lines of Python (and he may be being generous to C).  Projects are about 
more than raw speed: maintainability, speed of adding features, etc.  Python 
wins those races in most situations.  I'm sure that hand coded assembler would 
run fastest of all, but little application software is written that way these days.

-Larry



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