How does Python stack up?ΒΆ

date:2005-10-07 03:34:36
category:Building Skills

In PJHyett [link ] asks

Why is it that selling points of newer langauges are features that Lisp had decades ago? Java has garbage collection, Ruby has closures, Perl is dynamically typed, etc. What the hell have we been doing this whole time besides reinventing the wheel?

Call me lazy, but I want my language to do as much of the work as possible. So I pose this question, not to start a religious war, but aren’t languages that allow the programmer to solve problems with less, but not cryptic, code better?

In Marginalia [link ] there are some answers.

Techno-Detail by Techno-Detail, (garbage collection, closures, dynamic typing, better code, language does more) Python seems to fit the bill. It has this ugliness about the self variable, but I’m willing to put up with that.

From PJHyett “I’m a computer scientist, and I never want to see another pointer again.”

I echo that. I find the C/C++ stuff tedious, and I find some of the conversations deeply strange.

“We support VB, C/C++, People Talk and (I’m drawing a blank)” the client says, with a straight face. I want to say “and that’s not diluting your talent pool?” But that’s not the right thing to quibble over. They have other problems. Apparently stemming from the fact that they support a variety of platforms and languages. Which stems from them doing extensive customization on every package they buy.

Perhaps they could stop looking at pointers if they would stop engaging in their hobby of programming. Perhaps much of the debate on good vs. bad vs. usable vs. antique programming language stems from a certain amount of hobby programming justified as necessary to making the software fit the business.

Perhaps if we had less programming, but a more serious attempt to maximize the value from that programming, we’d have fewer languages, fewer bugs, less maintenance and support.

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