PEP 526 - var annotations and the spirit of python

Jim Lee jlee54 at
Mon Jul 2 21:10:07 EDT 2018

On 07/02/18 17:34, Dan Stromberg wrote:
> The fact of the matter is the economics have changed a lot since then. 
> Machine time used to be really expensive compared to developer time.  
> Today, it's the opposite: developer time is really expensive compared 
> to machine time.

If you go back far enough, yes.  But for the majority of the past, the 
tradeoff was developer time vs time to market.  That's why we had an 
explosion of RAD tools in the '90s.  It became more important to develop 
an application *quickly* rather than *correctly*.  And that philosophy 
continues to this day.  Python is a descendant of the RAD philosophy.

(By correctly, I mean using the resources available in an efficient and 
non-wasteful manner.)

> It doesn't make much sense anymore to wring one's hands about 
> "throwing" more computer power at a problem.

We've already hit a wall performance-wise.  Physics only allows so many 
electrons to flow through a nm-sized pipe.  Now, the "solution" is to 
keep adding more cores. But that doesn't help if an application doesn't 
lend itself to a multi-threaded design.  So, software efficiency will 
once again become the bottleneck.


More information about the Python-list mailing list