Mac vs. Linux for Python Development

Frank Millman frank at
Sun Mar 2 08:35:29 CET 2014

"Chris Angelico" <rosuav at> wrote in message
news:CAPTjJmrmJjiGMfqui=PpJco7LjtqVpUjj=XNmTYbYQEmxG3fmw at
> On Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 4:51 PM, Frank Millman <frank at> wrote:
>> Which version are you talking about?
>> I have an old, slow box running Windows Server 2003 and python 3.3.2.
>> I have just booted it up now, called up a command prompt, typed 'python'
>> to
>> start the interpreter, and typed 'import decimal'. The interpreter prompt
>> re-appeared in the blink of an eye.
>> Are you talking about something else?
> I did it in IDLE, which might have added a bit, but not hugely. It was
> 3.4.0, so the module in both cases is the C-accelerated version. My
> suspicion is that you've used the decimal module already on that
> system, so you had a warm cache. When I repeat the exercise, I get
> sub-second load times (usually of the order of 100-200ms); the
> difference between that and your "blink of an eye" would be to do with
> exactness of measurement, CPU/HDD performance, etc, etc, etc.

I assume by 'warm cache' you mean that I had used the decimal module before 
and not switched the machine off before trying the above exercise.

In my case, the machine was switched off before I started. I switched it on 
and executed the above steps.

To be slightly more precise, instead of 'the blink of an eye', I estimate it 
was between 250-500 ms. If I close the interpreter and start it up again, it 
takes maybe 100-200ms.

Just to be sure, I switched the machine off and on again, and repeated the 
exercise. Starting the interpreter for the first time takes 1.5 - 2 seconds. 
Importing decimal for the first time takes less than 500ms.


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