python simply not scaleable enough for google?

Alf P. Steinbach alfps at
Thu Nov 12 20:24:18 CET 2009

* Rami Chowdhury:
> On Thu, 12 Nov 2009 09:32:28 -0800, Alf P. Steinbach <alfps at> 
> wrote:
>> This also seems religious. It's like in Norway it became illegal to 
>> market lemon soda, since umpteen years ago it's soda with lemon 
>> flavoring. This has to do with the *origin* of the citric acid, 
>> whether natural or chemist's concoction, no matter that it's the same 
>> chemical. So, some people think that it's wrong to talk about 
>> interpreted languages, hey, it should be a "language designed for 
>> interpretation", or better yet, "dynamic language", or bestest, 
>> "language with dynamic flavor". And slow language, oh no, should be 
>> "language whose current implementations are perceived as somewhat slow 
>> by some (well, all) people", but of course, that's just silly.
> Perhaps I'm missing the point of what you're saying but I don't see why 
> you're conflating interpreted and dynamic here? Javascript is unarguably 
> a dynamic language, yet Chrome / Safari 4 / Firefox 3.5 all typically 
> JIT it. Does that make Javascript non-dynamic, because it's compiled? 
> What about Common Lisp, which is a compiled language when it's run with 

Yeah, you missed it.

Blurring and coloring and downright hiding reality by insisting on misleading 
but apparently more precise terminology for some vague concept is a popular 
sport, and chiding others for using more practical and real-world oriented 
terms, can be effective in politics and some other arenas.

But in a technical context it's silly. Or dumb. Whatever.

E.g. you'll find it impossible to define interpretation rigorously in the sense 
that you're apparently thinking of. It's not that kind of term or concept. The 
nearest you can get is in a different direction, something like "a program whose 
actions are determined by data external to the program (+ x qualifications and 
weasel words)", which works in-practice, conceptually, but try that on as a 
rigorous definition and you'll see that when you get formal about it then it's 
completely meaningless: either anything qualifies or nothing qualifies.

You'll also find it impossible to rigorously define "dynamic language" in a 
general way so that that definition excludes C++. <g>

So, to anyone who understands what one is talking about, "interpreted", or e.g. 
"slow language" (as was the case here), conveys the essence.

And to anyone who doesn't understand it trying to be more precise is an exercise 
in futility and pure silliness  --  except for the purpose of misleading.

Cheers & hth.,

- Alf

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