[Tutor] Const on Python

Kent Johnson kent37 at tds.net
Fri Mar 7 14:16:04 CET 2008

Alan Gauld wrote:
> The problem is as
> Fred Brooks stated in his essay "No Silver Bullet" that the
> real costs in development are the intengibles - the time
> spent thinking about theproblem/solution and dealing with people.
> They far outweigh the time actually writing code. The average
> project delivers around 20-100 lines of working code per
> day. But you can type that in mechanically in half an hour
> or less. The rest of the day is doing the stuff that really costs.

(Jumping in against my better judgment :-)

Hmm...sure, programming is not about typing, it is about figuring out 
what to type. With Python the conceptual activity takes place at a 
higher level because
- Python provides easy-to-use, high-level constructs like lists, dicts 
and first-order functions
- Python doesn't require you to think about low-level details like 
const, private, getters and setters, braces, etc.

So Python speeds up the thinking part.

As far as the code, those 20-100 lines will do more if they are in 
Python than they will if they are in Java or C++.

I don't see an order of magnitude difference between Python and Java but 
I have no doubt that I am dramatically more productive in Python. When I 
have compared code samples, I have found Python code to be 20-60% the 
size of equivalent Java code. Googling 'python productivity' finds more 
specific examples.


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