Python and the need for speed

Rick Johnson rantingrickjohnson at gmail.com
Fri Apr 14 19:59:50 EDT 2017


On Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 4:30:16 AM UTC-5, alister wrote:
> On Tue, 11 Apr 2017 16:31:16 -0700, Rick Johnson wrote:
> > On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 9:56:45 AM UTC-5, Steve D'Aprano wrote:
> >> On Tue, 11 Apr 2017 07:56 pm, Brecht Machiels wrote:
> >> > On 2017-04-11 08:19:31 +0000, Steven D'Aprano said:
> > > > I understand that high performance was never a goal in
> > > > CPython development (and Python language design!), but
> > > > recent events (DropBox, Google) might help to reconsider
> > > > that standpoint.
> > > *shrug*  It isn't as if high-performance is a
> > > requirement for all code.
> > But given the choice, no prospective "language shopper"
> > is going to choose the slower language over a faster
> > language -- at least not from a pool of similar languages
> > with similar features (no comparing Python to C, please!).
> > So even if you don't need the speed _today_, you may need
> > it _tomorrow_. And once you've written a few hundred
> > thousand lines of code, well, you're committed to the
> > language you chose yesterday.
>
> but cost is also a factor , not just cost of the tools but
> cost in time writing & debugging he software the write.  if
> they can produce a finished product in half the time with a
> "slower" language the speed may not be important
> (especially when the application is IO bound & spends 90%
> of its time idling anyway).

Yes, and that is why many people have, at least
historically, picked Python for their project. An
interpreted language with a clean syntax and an avoidance of
TIM-TOWTDI results not only in a Rapid Development, but also
less headaches during the maintenance lifetime of the
software. But we cannot _always_ know what the final
destination of our software may be. Many times a simple
project can grow into an enormous beast, and by the time we
realize that Python is too slow, we're faced with only bad
choices and worse choices. 

> if this were not the case then we would all be writing
> Assembler

Only a few, poor, masochistic souls choose to write
assembly, the rest of us try to avoid pain as much as we
can. ;-)


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