Abandoning Python

Discussion in 'Python' started by John J Lee, May 21, 2011.

  1. John J Lee

    John J Lee Guest

    </troll>

    I still like Python after using it for over a decade, but there are
    things I don't like.

    What are your favourite up-and-coming languages of the moment?

    Here's my wishlist (not really in any order):

    * A widely used standard for (optional) interface declaration -- or
    something better. I want it to be easier to know what interface an
    object has when reading code, and which objects provide that
    interface.
    * Lower memory usage and faster execution speed. Yes, this has been a
    price worth paying. But I do want jam on it, please: give me a
    language where I get most of Python's advantages but don't have to
    pay it.
    * Better support for writing correct programs in the form of better
    support for things like non-imperative programming, DBC, etc. (with
    the emphasis on "etc").
    * Perhaps better built-in support for common tasks in common application
    domains. Concurrency, persistence, database queries come to mind.
    * Better refactoring tools, better code analysis tools (lint, search,
    etc.).
    * An even larger user base, contributing more and better free and
    commercial software.

    I'm prepared to compromise on the last one. Obviously, it should do all
    that while preserving all the nice features of Python -- surely an easy
    task.


    John
     
    John J Lee, May 21, 2011
    #1
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  2. John J Lee

    John Bokma Guest

    John J Lee <> writes:

    > </troll>
    >
    > I still like Python after using it for over a decade, but there are
    > things I don't like.
    >
    > What are your favourite up-and-coming languages of the moment?
    >
    > Here's my wishlist (not really in any order):
    >
    > * A widely used standard for (optional) interface declaration -- or
    > something better. I want it to be easier to know what interface an
    > object has when reading code, and which objects provide that
    > interface.
    > * Lower memory usage and faster execution speed. Yes, this has been a
    > price worth paying. But I do want jam on it, please: give me a
    > language where I get most of Python's advantages but don't have to
    > pay it.
    > * Better support for writing correct programs in the form of better
    > support for things like non-imperative programming, DBC, etc. (with
    > the emphasis on "etc").
    > * Perhaps better built-in support for common tasks in common application
    > domains. Concurrency, persistence, database queries come to mind.
    > * Better refactoring tools, better code analysis tools (lint, search,
    > etc.).
    > * An even larger user base, contributing more and better free and
    > commercial software.
    >
    > I'm prepared to compromise on the last one. Obviously, it should do all
    > that while preserving all the nice features of Python -- surely an easy
    > task.


    A language I want to give a serious try the coming months is Haskell.

    --
    John Bokma j3b

    Blog: http://johnbokma.com/ Perl Consultancy: http://castleamber.com/
    Perl for books: http://johnbokma.com/perl/help-in-exchange-for-books.html
     
    John Bokma, May 21, 2011
    #2
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  3. John J Lee

    Daniel Kluev Guest

    On Sun, May 22, 2011 at 2:49 AM, John J Lee <> wrote:
    > Here's my wishlist (not really in any order):


    How come pony is not listed there? Language cannot be better than
    python without pony!

    >  * An even larger user base, contributing more and better free and
    >   commercial software.


    According to all language popularity indexes [1-10], C# and
    Objective-C are only languages which have any chance to fulfill these
    requirements, but they arguably less flexible than python and have
    copyright/patent complications.
    As there is rather heavy inertia in software development community,
    expecting some language to acquire "even larger user base" is
    hopeless.

    Also, most of these complaints could be solved by using correct python
    dialect for particular task - RPython, Cython and so on.

    --
    With best regards,
    Daniel Kluev
     
    Daniel Kluev, May 22, 2011
    #3
  4. John J Lee

    Daniel Kluev Guest

    On Sun, May 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM, Daniel Kluev <> wrote:
    > According to all language popularity indexes [1-10], C# and


    Forgot to include references, although everyone probably already knows them,

    [1] https://www.ohloh.net/languages?query=&sort=projects
    [2] http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html
    [3] http://libresoft.es/debian-counting/lenny/index.php?menu=Statistics
    [4] http://lang-index.sourceforge.net/
    [5] http://langpop.com/
    and so on

    --
    With best regards,
    Daniel Kluev
     
    Daniel Kluev, May 22, 2011
    #4
  5. John J Lee

    John J Lee Guest

    Daniel Kluev <> writes:

    > On Sun, May 22, 2011 at 2:49 AM, John J Lee <> wrote:
    >> Here's my wishlist (not really in any order):

    >
    > How come pony is not listed there? Language cannot be better than
    > python without pony!


    Pony, absolutely. I took that as read.


    >>  * An even larger user base, contributing more and better free and
    >>   commercial software.

    [...]
    > As there is rather heavy inertia in software development community,
    > expecting some language to acquire "even larger user base" is
    > hopeless.


    I did say I was prepared to compromise on that one. After all, when I
    started using Python it was a lot smaller that it is now. If a language
    is good enough to tempt me away from Python, probably the same is true
    for other people too -- as it was with Python a decade or so ago.


    > Also, most of these complaints could be solved by using correct python
    > dialect for particular task - RPython, Cython and so on.


    Different topic.


    John
     
    John J Lee, May 22, 2011
    #5
  6. John J Lee

    John Lee Guest

    Bill Allen <wallenpb <at> gmail.com> writes:

    > You have ideas, a text editor, and a computer - best get to coding.
    > What's stopping you? You largely want Python, with modifications.
    > Join the development team and help implement those changes, or fork
    > your own flavor and do what you wish. Right? You imagine it's an
    > easy task, so get after it.

    [...]

    Is it possible that my calling it an easy task was a joke?

    Honestly, I'd thought it safe with that one to leave out the smiley -- but then
    I've been away from newsgroups for quite a while!


    John
     
    John Lee, May 22, 2011
    #6
  7. John J Lee

    John Lee Guest

    Dan Stromberg <drsalists <at> gmail.com> writes:

    > On Sat, May 21, 2011 at 8:49 AM, John J Lee <jjl <at> pobox.com> wrote:
    > </troll>
    > I still like Python after using it for over a decade, but there are
    > things I don't like.
    > What are your favourite up-and-coming languages of the moment?
    > Here's my wishlist (not really in any order):
    >  * A widely used standard for (optional) interface declaration -- or
    >   something better.  I want it to be easier to know what interface an
    >   object has when reading code, and which objects provide that
    >   interface.
    >
    >
    > I do miss this sometimes, but pylint takes things far enough for me. 


    Pylint? Does it provide some kind of guessed-at-type that has been integrated
    with IDEs?

    [...]
    > And here I thought Python had pretty good functional programming facilities.
    > What do you miss?AFAIK, DBC in terms of "if condition: raise AssertionError"
    > (or assert).What _is_ the "etc"?

    [...more of the same...]

    You tell me: I'm here to fish for interesting pointers rather than to
    evangelize. I mention those specific things as examples because I know they
    have often been both the focus of research (well, perhaps not integration of
    queries), and pain points in software development. It's not plausible to me
    that there is not room for major improvement, but in any case the only way to
    know is to try.


    >  * Better refactoring tools, better code analysis tools (lint, search,
    >   etc.).
    >
    > I find pylint excellent.  My idea of a refactoring tool is vim's n.n.n.,  but

    have you looked at PyCharm? 

    In this thread, I'm asking about the views of Python programmers on languages
    other than Python. Thanks for the link, though (does PyCharm provide reliable
    refactoring tools that are useable from emacs?).


    >  * An even larger user base, contributing more and better free and
    >   commercial software.
    >
    > Gee, you want a scripting language with a larger userbase? 


    I don't want a scripting language, necessarily.


    John
     
    John Lee, May 22, 2011
    #7
  8. John J Lee, 22.05.2011 17:58:
    > Daniel Kluev writes:
    >> Also, most of these complaints could be solved by using correct python
    >> dialect for particular task - RPython, Cython and so on.

    >
    > Different topic.


    Why?

    Stefan
     
    Stefan Behnel, May 22, 2011
    #8
  9. John J Lee

    John Lee Guest

    Stefan Behnel <stefan_ml <at> behnel.de> writes:

    >
    > John J Lee, 22.05.2011 17:58:
    > > Daniel Kluev writes:
    > >> Also, most of these complaints could be solved by using correct python
    > >> dialect for particular task - RPython, Cython and so on.

    > >
    > > Different topic.

    >
    > Why?


    The intended focus was "things other than Python". RPython and Cython are
    languages other than Python, but I regard them as part of the Python, er,
    ecosystem. They have advantages and drawbacks that a lot of us are already
    familiar with (even though in your position I imagine you notice the
    misconceptions more than the correct ones). The thought behind my question was
    to get Pythonista's opinions about things outside of that.


    John
     
    John Lee, May 22, 2011
    #9
  10. John J Lee

    John Lee Guest

    Dan Stromberg <drsalists <at> gmail.com> writes:
    [...]
    > Pylint does type inferencing - I find it very valuable on large projects, and
    > even some not-so-large projects.I doubt Pylint's been integrated into any
    > IDE's,

    [...]

    That's interesting, thanks. I see this is a different pylint than the old
    logilab pylint. Unfortunate choice of name, since it makes it hard to find IDE
    integration work that's already done.


    > But PyCharm probably has refactoring.  For a bolt-on to vim or
    > emacs, you might look at "Rope".


    TBH, I'm not interested in Python refactoring tools until everybody starts
    shouting that they're reliable and useful (because it seems like a hard problem
    to solve, so I guess most implementations will be more trouble than they're
    worth).


    John
     
    John Lee, May 22, 2011
    #10
  11. John J Lee

    John Lee Guest

    John Lee <jjl <at> pobox.com> writes:
    [...]
    > That's interesting, thanks. I see this is a different pylint than the old
    > logilab pylint. Unfortunate choice of name, since it makes it hard to find
    > IDE integration work that's already done.


    Hmm, I see the last release was in 2003 :-(


    John
     
    John Lee, May 22, 2011
    #11
  12. John J Lee

    Daniel Kluev Guest

    On Mon, May 23, 2011 at 4:33 AM, John Lee <> wrote:
    > Pylint?  Does it provide some kind of guessed-at-type that has been integrated
    > with IDEs?


    WingIDE Pro has both Pylint integration and advanced type-guessing.

    --
    With best regards,
    Daniel Kluev
     
    Daniel Kluev, May 23, 2011
    #12
  13. John J Lee

    Robin Becker Guest

    On 21/05/2011 16:49, John J Lee wrote:
    > </troll>
    >
    > I still like Python after using it for over a decade, but there are
    > things I don't like.

    .......
    a relatively new one that's going about is cobra, http://cobra-language.com/, it
    appears to have some of the features you indicate eg speed, some kind of
    interfaces (contracts I think), but it needs net or mono.
    --
    Robin Becker
     
    Robin Becker, May 23, 2011
    #13
  14. John J Lee

    Paul Rubin Guest

    John Lee <> writes:
    > In this thread, I'm asking about the views of Python programmers on
    > languages other than Python.


    I sympathize with what you're looking for but I don't think there's
    a really good answer at this time. Things IMO are converging in the
    direction of functional languages like Haskell but it seems to
    me that there is a big gap between the current academic ideas and
    what makes sense for working programmers. The academics aren't
    all that concerned with practicality, but good solutions really
    have to incorporate their ideas since the rest of us are rather
    badly behind the times.

    Haskell probably has the most vibrant development community at
    the moment but its learning curve is quite steep, and it has
    various shortcomings some of which are being worked on but others
    of which may be insurmountable.

    If you like the Java ecosystem but not the Java language, check
    out Scala.

    You could look for the article "The Next Mainstream Programming
    Languages" by Tim Sweeney. It discusses similar issues to what I
    think you are facing.
     
    Paul Rubin, May 25, 2011
    #14
  15. John J Lee

    harrismh777 Guest

    Paul Rubin wrote:
    > Haskell probably has the most vibrant development community at
    > the moment but its learning curve is quite steep, and it has
    > various shortcomings some of which are being worked on but others
    > of which may be insurmountable.



    Yes. You might want to lurk on:

    http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/
     
    harrismh777, May 27, 2011
    #15
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