Python benefits over Cobra

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 10:26:25 CEST 2011


On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 6:03 PM, harrismh777 <harrismh777 at charter.net> wrote:
> Having said all of that, I must admit my bias against Microsoft .NET and the
> Mono frameworks. I personally cannot support a language that requires either
> one. Microsoft has made such a mess out of almost everything it has
> touched... including language design (er, lockin). Cobra patronizes this
> scheme and is therefore also evil. This is of course just an opinion (and a
> proud one I must admit).

In other words, you have a bias against non-portability.

Right now, I have around me two laptops running Windows XP, two
running Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit, and two running Ubuntu 32-bit.
(Surprisingly balanced.) With a very few exceptions, code that I write
in IDLE on one box will run perfectly on any of the others. That won't
happen in a language that requires a Microsoft framework, because it's
simply not in their interests to ship for Linux (let alone OS/2, which
I have at home). I do like me some true portability.

Even if you don't intend to move off Windows, though, there's a lot of
risk in tying yourself to a non-free framework, especially such a
heavy one as .NET. You're completely at the mercy of the provider, in
this case Microsoft, and if they make an incompatible change in the
framework, you're forever stuck. At least with open source systems,
you have the option of forking Python version whatever and compiling
it for your new hardware (is there a Python 1.0 for amd64? heh).
Hypothetical situation yes, but it's a question of trust. Do you trust
Microsoft to never have any bugs in the .NET framework? (To be honest,
I don't actually trust the Python devs *that* much. But if Python
version 3.Foo has a bug that breaks my code, I do at least have the
ability to fix it myself, if I care. Which I probably don't with
Python, but I have done with other OSS.)

Chris Angelico



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