Looking for a dream language: sounds like Python to me.

David Cournapeau cournape at gmail.com
Mon Jul 27 11:39:14 EDT 2009

On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 12:28 AM, Dotan Cohen<dotancohen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> It is neither efficient or inefficient: it is just a distribution
>> tool, to deploy python software in a form familiar to most windows
>> users. It does not make it any faster than running the software under
>> a python prompt.
>> As much as I like python for scientific programming, I would say
>> python is pretty far from the stated requirements in the posted blog
>> post. It is difficult to deploy software written with python (much
>> better than the alternatives, though), and it is slow if you can't
>> leverage numpy/scipy (where vectorization does not apply).
>> It remains to be seen whether it will be true in practice, but
>> something like F#, with its integration in VS 2010, seems much closer
>> IMHO. It is compiled, high level language, and backed by the biggest
>> software vendor in the world.
> The blog post is not looking to distribute his code, but he would like
> it to be cross platform for his own reasons. VB is not cross platform.

I understand his "efficient binary as Ansi C" partially as a
deployment requirement, and independent of cross-platform issues. As a
scientist, being able to share my software with colleagues is a non
trivial matter. Python does not make this easy today.

F# has nothing to do with VB: F# is a ML-language inspired from OCAML,
and run on top of the CLR. It can thus leverage the huge .net
framework (lack of non numerical API is one of the biggest matlab
hindrance, and comparatively big advantage of python + numpy/scipy),
and benefits from the much more efficient implementation compared to
python (under the currently CPython implementation at least).

Some recent F# versions are compatible with mono, making it compatible
on most platforms that matter today for research (but of course, you
lose the IDE integration outside windows).


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