[Tutor] Losing the expressivenessofC'sfor-statement?/RESENDwith example

Smith, Jeff jsmith at medplus.com
Fri Aug 10 16:31:21 CEST 2007

From: tutor-bounces at python.org [mailto:tutor-bounces at python.org] On
Behalf Of Stephen McInerney
> I didn't get much decent opinion on my central question:
> "isn't this idiom more restrictive than C/C++/Java (aka the rest of
the universe),"

I thought you got plenty of decent opinion and most of was disagreement.
And, frankly, this underlies your lack of knowledge about the universe.
And I'm not saying that to be rude.  While those three languages may be
near the top for something like the TIOBE TCP index, even they admit
that it is "based on the world-wide availability of skilled engineers,
courses, and third party vendors. This availability is determined by
using the Google and Yahoo! search engines to calculate the ratings."
This is not a very good way to determine real world use although it is
probably instructive if you are starting a new project and are looking
for some direction as to choice of language.  It says nothing, however
about the number of programmers actually using a language.  This list
would almost certainly include COBOL and Visual Basic (which is actually
#3 on the TCP as well).

> quibbling the motivation for the quicksort example I gave was clearly
offtopic; I'm very well aware there are
> better Python implementions, that's irrelevant; the motivation was to
give a legitimate example which clearly
> arises commonly.

Maybe that's because many of us don't feel that it was an example that
arises commonly.  Once you become experienced OO language programming
and start to think in OO constructs, which Python is very good at
facilitating, that type of usage virtually disappears.

> In any case, when we talk about people migrating from other languages,
C/C++/Java is ~60-95% of the audience,
> COBOL is irrelevant and PL/I is ancient history.

Actually, since COBOL and PL/I are both ancient history with tons of
legacy code in service, they are the classic target for migration.  I'll
admit I was amused by the figure of 60-95%...what's the error bar on
that :-)

>>The C syntax is extremely odd to most programmers who haven't been 
>>trained in it but in more traditional languages like Lisp, Cobol, 
>>Fortran, Pascal, ADA, etc.

> I couldn't disagree more strongly.
> Those were already dated in 1980 - almost everyone these days learns
> as their main programming language, unless they're mechanical
engineers or accounting programmers. Look at TIOBE > Index to confirm

They may have been dated but they were still in heavy use.  At many
engineering schools and research labs FORTRAN was still be widely taught
well into the 90's and is still in fair use today.  And the TCP doesn't
give a breakdown by job category.  And since it's based on Google and
Yahoo searches, I'm not sure of its general usefulness anyway.


>Alan - this was totally unnecessary and trashes the entire (legitimate)
context of my question.

Why?  It most certainly isn't...it speaks directly to your contention
that implementing a quicksort is a common task nowadays...


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