Why is python not written in C++ ?

Paul Rubin no.email at nospam.invalid
Wed Aug 4 05:02:09 CEST 2010

Grant Edwards <invalid at invalid.invalid> writes:
> The issue that would prevent its use where I work is the inability to
> hire anybody who knows Ada.  ...
> That said, the last time I looked the Ada spec was only something like
> 100 pages long, so a case could be made that it won't take long to
> learn. 

Well, I don't know Ada (I've read about it but not written actual code),
so maybe I shouldn't be the one saying this, but geez, it's another
imperative, procedural language, like Algol or Pascal or even C.  Its
type is much more serious than C's but shouldn't be a problem for anyone
who uses C++ or Java generics.  It also has a real module system unlike
more commonly used languages, but 1) that part seems easy to understand;
and 2) usually that's used for multi-programmer projects, so as long as
there's some reasonable proportion of experienced users on the team, the
inter-module interfaces should be sensible and less experienced users
can just program to existing interfaces and/or get some help from
others.  Ada's module system is much simpler than (say) ML's.

> I don't know how long the C++ language spec is, but I'm
> betting it's closer to 1000 than 100. 

I don't know about an official spec.  Stroustrup's "The C++ programming
language" is about 1000 pp, but it's a textbook, with lots of examples,
exercises, etc.  I read through an earlier (shorter) edition in a couple
of evenings a long time ago and it all made sense.  It has some hairy
aspects like the notorious template metaprogramming, but most users
simply won't get involved with that.  Python has its own obscure and
confusing features if that matters.  I think I'm a reasonably good
Python programmer but I've never written a special metaclass and
wouldn't really know how to.

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