Re: Python should try to displace Java

Discussion in 'Python' started by Doug Tolton, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. Doug Tolton

    Doug Tolton Guest

    On Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:43:08 -0700, "Brandon J. Van Every"
    <> wrote:

    >I'm going to make a number of points which I'm sure many people will object
    >to. Feel free, but also try not to knee-jerk about them. As someone who
    >programmed DEC Alpha in 1998, and who sees the sorry state of CPUs nowadays,
    >I can definitely say that better technology doesn't always win. In fact, it
    >doesn't *usually* win. Python needs to look to its strategic marketing and
    >product positioning if it expects to survive in the rough and tumble world
    >of mainstream industry.

    Ok, this sounds like a troll to begin with, but I'm bored and
    irritable so I'll have a go at it.
    Better technology doesn't always win in the short term, however it
    almost always wins in the long term. You are looking at something
    from a very narrow time period. Something that was better 5 years
    ago, but sucks today wasn't definitively a better technology.
    >
    >Points to note:
    >
    >- in 5 years, nobody will be doing significant amounts of new application
    >development in C++. The writing is on the wall: garbage collection is
    >essential. Any C++ code will be support and legacy libraries.

    That's a ridiculous blanket statement. People will be doing C++
    development for a long time beyond that. There are people still
    writing Cobol for crying out loud. As you said, it's not always about
    the best technology, quite frequently it's about what people know, and
    there are a lot of people that know and are comfortable with C++
    >
    >- Microsoft is already implementing said strategy across all levels of the
    >company today. Microsoft developers don't do much C++ development anymore.
    >Various upcoming products are being written entirely in C#.

    <sigh> just what we need. More buggy slow products from MS that have
    Memory Leaks the size of the Mississippi. C# is not a good
    development platform yet. Heck they are practically still in the
    standard MS beta period. Everyone knows not to use a MS product on
    version 1.0
    >
    >- The "higher level language" playing field is crowded: C#, Java, Perl, and
    >Python. Mainstream industry does not need and will not make room for 4
    >higher level languages. Any of these languages has to grow at some other
    >language's expense.

    This statement is really vague, and has almost no factual basis. If
    there were only four programming languages the world would be a very
    dull place. You forgot to mention Delphi, Visual Basic, Power Builder
    and a host of others. There is room for a lot more than 4 programming
    languages.
    >
    >- Python will never displace C# on Windows. It's Microsoft's home turf and
    >you can't fight directly with The Beast. You will see UNIX boxes running
    >Python, not Windows boxes.

    That's a bold statement, considering the abysmal adoption rate of C#.
    C# isn't the dominant windows programming language currently, rather
    its Visual Basic. Java has far more applications written for Windows
    than C# does. MS really shot themselves in the foot when they went to
    dotnet, essentially the adopted the Java platform 8 years after Java.
    Now they are playing catchup with an inferior product. I doubt
    they'll ever catch up to Java overall.
    >
    >- Sun is about to die. It has done nothing for anyone lately and has no
    >further tricks up its sleeve.

    People have been saying this for years. I'll believe it when I see
    it.
    >
    >- Sun has failed to make Java live up to its claims of universality. Java
    >is for all intents and purposes simply a widespread programming language,
    >not a portable computing environment. Portable computing environments are,
    >in general, a pipe dream as long as Microsoft is around. It will always be
    >Windows vs. open standards.

    They must give you a good edjumacation at the Redmond campus. Java is
    by far the best portable computing environment available. These
    claims are actually laughable. You might want to actually look at a
    technology before you bash it ignorantly next time. Microsoft is
    losing ground *big time* to open standards. We'll see how things play
    out in the next 20 years though. Open Source will be around that
    long, will Microsoft in it's present incarnation?
    >
    >- Java is proprietary. Python is open source. Open Source is the best shot
    >that anyone has at competing with Windows.

    Java is only semi-proprietary. It's not the same proprietary you get
    when using a MS product, because they are the *only* vendor. Still, I
    agree Open Source is the better way in the long run.
    >
    >- Perl is open source and sysadmins won't be giving it up any time soon.
    >Perl is optimal for their jobs, the capabilities of Python are a non-sell.

    Perl is a great language for some things, but it really sucks for
    other things. The Sysadmins I know would love to use Python. It's
    capabilities are a non-sell? mm...if you think being able to read
    your code two days after writing it is a non-sell, well ok.
    >
    >- Ergo, Java is the weakling of the litter for Python to attack.

    No factual basis for this statement. Java and Python are really
    entirely different things. Python is meant as a scripting language,
    Java is a Systems programming language. It is meant as an alternative
    to C++, Python isn't.
    >
    >- Alternately, if you look at this in real world marketing terms, Python is
    >the weakling of the litter that must defend itself. I know that will make
    >various Python idealists upset, but that's the economic reality. Merit
    >doesn't win in this game. Java is the next weakest langauge so that's whose
    >lunch Python should try to eat.

    Who does Python have to defend itself against? Python is Open Source.
    The only way it's going to die is if everyone stops developing it and
    it stagnates. If that hapens it will be because something
    *significantly* better came along. Python doesn't have to defend
    itself, your Microsoft background is showing through here. C# is by
    far the weakest language of the four. It is buggy, slow and immature.
    It has the smallest user base, the least amount of industry backing
    and a community that is rising up against it's benefactor. I think
    you dramatically overstate it's chances. Historically Microsoft
    switches technologies every 3 or 4 years. That only gives C# about 2
    years to go before it's dead in the water like every other MS
    "Innovation".
    >
    >- No, this isn't the appraisal of a Microsoftie who wants to set Python and
    >Java at each others' throats to conquer both. :) I'm just offering a
    >realistic picture of what your options are, if you don't want to become a
    >"gee whiz, wasn't that nice!" technology. Like I said, I've lived through
    >it already. Don't talk to me about merit carrying the day. Learn from
    >history, or you are doomed to repeat it.

    If you subsitute the word propaganda for appraisal, and "highly
    dogmatic" for realistic you'd be closer to the mark. Historically
    those with the best technology and the best economic system prevail
    against inefficient and inferior models. Since there wasn't really a
    cogent thesis I can't reject it per se, but your arguments are silly
    at best.

    Oh well, it was fun going through that ridiculous argument. And it
    killed some time while my Sql Script was running. Thanks for the
    diversion.
    Doug Tolton, Aug 12, 2003
    #1
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  2. Doug Tolton wrote:
    > On Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:43:08 -0700, "Brandon J. Van Every"
    >>
    >> - in 5 years, nobody will be doing significant amounts of new
    >> application development in C++. The writing is on the wall: garbage
    >> collection is essential. Any C++ code will be support and legacy
    >> libraries.

    >
    > That's a ridiculous blanket statement. People will be doing C++
    > development for a long time beyond that. There are people still
    > writing Cobol for crying out loud.


    Do you honestly believe that people are doing a significant amount of new
    application development in Cobol, as opposed to maintenance work?

    >> - Microsoft is already implementing said strategy across all levels
    >> of the company today. Microsoft developers don't do much C++
    >> development anymore. Various upcoming products are being written
    >> entirely in C#.

    >
    > <sigh> just what we need. More buggy slow products from MS that have
    > Memory Leaks the size of the Mississippi. C# is not a good
    > development platform yet. Heck they are practically still in the
    > standard MS beta period. Everyone knows not to use a MS product on
    > version 1.0


    Ignore the trend at your peril. A MS product is one thing. A MS initiative
    across the entire company is quite another. The last time they did that,
    Internet Explorer put Netscape in the doghouse. Never, ever, ignore or
    diminish what Microsoft decides to do as an entire company.

    >> - The "higher level language" playing field is crowded: C#, Java,
    >> Perl, and Python. Mainstream industry does not need and will not
    >> make room for 4 higher level languages. Any of these languages has
    >> to grow at some other language's expense.

    >
    > This statement is really vague, and has almost no factual basis. If
    > there were only four programming languages the world would be a very
    > dull place. You forgot to mention Delphi, Visual Basic, Power Builder
    > and a host of others. There is room for a lot more than 4 programming
    > languages.


    Actually, Visual Basic vs. C# would be a good discussion in another
    newsgroup. Because the books about .NET Framework that I'm reading, show
    how VB is being modded and borgged to fit the Intermediate Language. Which
    is essentially C#. I wonder if it would be reasonable to say that in 5
    years, nobody will be doing new app development in VB, it'll all be C#? But
    I'll take that up with the VB crowd.

    >> - Python will never displace C# on Windows. It's Microsoft's home
    >> turf and you can't fight directly with The Beast. You will see UNIX
    >> boxes running Python, not Windows boxes.

    >
    > That's a bold statement, considering the abysmal adoption rate of C#.


    Within Microsoft, the adoption of C# is universal. That tends to have a
    powerful effect on ISV Windows development over time.

    > C# isn't the dominant windows programming language currently, rather
    > its Visual Basic. Java has far more applications written for Windows
    > than C# does. MS really shot themselves in the foot when they went to
    > dotnet, essentially the adopted the Java platform 8 years after Java.
    > Now they are playing catchup with an inferior product. I doubt
    > they'll ever catch up to Java overall.


    The problem with your thinking here is there's very clear evidence that
    Microsoft can and does catch up to and surpass technologies that they have
    fumblingly cloned. In fact, that's the basic Microsoft corporate
    philosophy. Version 1.0 sucks, 2.0 is ok... 5.0 actually is a really good
    product and then the competition can't catch up anymore. Example: DirectX.
    When it started it was complete garbage. Nowadays it is technically
    superior to OpenGL in most areas. Why they don't finally implement doubles
    and put OpenGL out of its misery, I'm not sure.

    Why can MS catch up? Because Open Source people assume their technological
    superiority and rest on their laurels. They think they don't have to market
    because they are technically superior. Also, their ranks are populated with
    strong engineers who don't *like* marketing, as a matter of basic
    personality. They never get it in their heads that they have to
    counter-market to some degree in order to hold the line. If you don't do
    any marketing, Microsoft completely out-markets you and then you die,
    technical merit or not.

    >> - Sun is about to die. It has done nothing for anyone lately and
    >> has no further tricks up its sleeve.

    >
    > People have been saying this for years. I'll believe it when I see it.


    Read a paper.

    >> - Sun has failed to make Java live up to its claims of universality.
    >> Java is for all intents and purposes simply a widespread programming
    >> language, not a portable computing environment. Portable computing
    >> environments are, in general, a pipe dream as long as Microsoft is
    >> around. It will always be Windows vs. open standards.

    >
    > They must give you a good edjumacation at the Redmond campus. Java is
    > by far the best portable computing environment available.


    Care to name a concrete example? A testimonial?

    >> - Ergo, Java is the weakling of the litter for Python to attack.

    >
    > No factual basis for this statement. Java and Python are really
    > entirely different things. Python is meant as a scripting language,
    > Java is a Systems programming language. It is meant as an alternative
    > to C++, Python isn't.


    You're saying Python isn't useful as a systems language? Then it is already
    dead.

    > Who does Python have to defend itself against? Python is Open Source.
    > The only way it's going to die is if everyone stops developing it and
    > it stagnates.


    You got it! And development stops when a langauge loses all meaningful
    mindshare. What is the battle of mindshare? A marketing battle. It is not
    a technological battle, except in the grossest terms of complete
    incompetence. Time and again, the marketplace has proven that kludgy but
    well marketed products carry the day. They only fail when they absolutely
    can't do the job.

    > If that hapens it will be because something *significantly* better came

    along.

    No, it is not an engineering meritocracy. Look at a company like DEC.
    Wonderful technology company. Couldn't market its way out of a paper bag.
    That's a warning for this c.l.p crowd. Don't sit around congratulating
    yourselves on how superior your techology is. Recognize the strategic
    competition and market against it.

    > Python doesn't have to defend
    > itself, your Microsoft background is showing through here. C# is by
    > far the weakest language of the four. It is buggy, slow and immature.
    > It has the smallest user base, the least amount of industry backing


    and is 100% backed by all the resources of Microsoft. It will not go away,
    and its shortcomings will be fixed at a blistering pace.

    > and a community that is rising up against it's benefactor.


    Huh? Care to explain?

    > I think
    > you dramatically overstate it's chances. Historically Microsoft
    > switches technologies every 3 or 4 years. That only gives C# about 2
    > years to go before it's dead in the water like every other MS
    > "Innovation".


    What part of "100% committment across the company" don't you understand?
    You really are blind. You don't live in Redmond, you can't conceive of
    having access to this level of information. And who in c.l.p woudl tell you
    these things?

    Well, you've been warned.

    > Historically
    > those with the best technology and the best economic system prevail
    > against inefficient and inferior models.


    You have *got* to be kidding me. Intel??!? Windows??!?

    --
    Cheers, www.3DProgrammer.com
    Brandon Van Every Seattle, WA

    20% of the world is real.
    80% is gobbledygook we make up inside our own heads.
    Brandon J. Van Every, Aug 12, 2003
    #2
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  3. Doug Tolton

    Doug Tolton Guest

    On Tue, 12 Aug 2003 01:54:12 -0700, "Brandon J. Van Every"
    <> wrote:

    >Doug Tolton wrote:
    >> On Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:43:08 -0700, "Brandon J. Van Every"
    >>>
    >>> - in 5 years, nobody will be doing significant amounts of new
    >>> application development in C++. The writing is on the wall: garbage
    >>> collection is essential. Any C++ code will be support and legacy
    >>> libraries.

    >>
    >> That's a ridiculous blanket statement. People will be doing C++
    >> development for a long time beyond that. There are people still
    >> writing Cobol for crying out loud.

    >
    >Do you honestly believe that people are doing a significant amount of new
    >application development in Cobol, as opposed to maintenance work?

    Apparently MS does, they were promoting Cobol.net pretty heavily not
    too long ago.
    >
    >>> - Microsoft is already implementing said strategy across all levels
    >>> of the company today. Microsoft developers don't do much C++
    >>> development anymore. Various upcoming products are being written
    >>> entirely in C#.

    >>
    >> <sigh> just what we need. More buggy slow products from MS that have
    >> Memory Leaks the size of the Mississippi. C# is not a good
    >> development platform yet. Heck they are practically still in the
    >> standard MS beta period. Everyone knows not to use a MS product on
    >> version 1.0

    >
    >Ignore the trend at your peril. A MS product is one thing. A MS initiative
    >across the entire company is quite another. The last time they did that,
    >Internet Explorer put Netscape in the doghouse. Never, ever, ignore or
    >diminish what Microsoft decides to do as an entire company.

    Well, I can pretty much ignore and diminish MS all I want. The only
    reason they beat Netscape was because of the *incredible* abuse of
    monopoly powers coupled with the inept decision making of Netscape.
    Netscape was great when it came out, but over time it started to suck
    more and more and IE started to suck less and less. It wasn't because
    MS was had better technology really, they just jacked people on the
    backend if they ran a Netscape solution. Netscape ran out of money
    and the ability compete.

    How are they going to crush Mozilla, Chimera or Khtml? You keep
    touting Mindshare. Whose mindshare is growing MS or Open Source? If
    you can't answer that honestly then you really are trolling.
    >
    >>> - The "higher level language" playing field is crowded: C#, Java,
    >>> Perl, and Python. Mainstream industry does not need and will not
    >>> make room for 4 higher level languages. Any of these languages has
    >>> to grow at some other language's expense.

    >>
    >> This statement is really vague, and has almost no factual basis. If
    >> there were only four programming languages the world would be a very
    >> dull place. You forgot to mention Delphi, Visual Basic, Power Builder
    >> and a host of others. There is room for a lot more than 4 programming
    >> languages.

    >
    >Actually, Visual Basic vs. C# would be a good discussion in another
    >newsgroup. Because the books about .NET Framework that I'm reading, show
    >how VB is being modded and borgged to fit the Intermediate Language. Which
    >is essentially C#. I wonder if it would be reasonable to say that in 5
    >years, nobody will be doing new app development in VB, it'll all be C#? But
    >I'll take that up with the VB crowd.

    That's good
    >
    >>> - Python will never displace C# on Windows. It's Microsoft's home
    >>> turf and you can't fight directly with The Beast. You will see UNIX
    >>> boxes running Python, not Windows boxes.

    >>
    >> That's a bold statement, considering the abysmal adoption rate of C#.

    >
    >Within Microsoft, the adoption of C# is universal. That tends to have a
    >powerful effect on ISV Windows development over time.

    Really, who cares what MS does? How does MS using C# affect Python?
    You have yet to establish any kind of Causal connection.

    Here it is straight, Python has been around going strong for over 10
    years now, inspite of lack of a corporate pimp. Why is that? What is
    it that MS is *suddenly* doing that is going to kill Python? Why is
    the Python mindshare going to *suddenly* evaporate and go to C#? You
    have nothing to back any of those statements up. They are pure
    unadulterated BS.
    >
    >> C# isn't the dominant windows programming language currently, rather
    >> its Visual Basic. Java has far more applications written for Windows
    >> than C# does. MS really shot themselves in the foot when they went to
    >> dotnet, essentially the adopted the Java platform 8 years after Java.
    >> Now they are playing catchup with an inferior product. I doubt
    >> they'll ever catch up to Java overall.

    >
    >The problem with your thinking here is there's very clear evidence that
    >Microsoft can and does catch up to and surpass technologies that they have
    >fumblingly cloned. In fact, that's the basic Microsoft corporate
    >philosophy. Version 1.0 sucks, 2.0 is ok... 5.0 actually is a really good
    >product and then the competition can't catch up anymore. Example: DirectX.
    >When it started it was complete garbage. Nowadays it is technically
    >superior to OpenGL in most areas. Why they don't finally implement doubles
    >and put OpenGL out of its misery, I'm not sure.

    I could be wrong but I didn't think OpenGL was open source. If it
    isn't, your argument isn't really a good point then.
    >
    >Why can MS catch up? Because Open Source people assume their technological
    >superiority and rest on their laurels. They think they don't have to market
    >because they are technically superior. Also, their ranks are populated with
    >strong engineers who don't *like* marketing, as a matter of basic
    >personality. They never get it in their heads that they have to
    >counter-market to some degree in order to hold the line. If you don't do
    >any marketing, Microsoft completely out-markets you and then you die,
    >technical merit or not.

    Hmm...interesting point. Too bad there is simply no factual basis for
    it. If Microsoft completely out markets everyone and they die, why
    are there still so many Unix machines around? The only thing that has
    made any headway against the Unix establishment is Linux. Not many
    people switch and go to Windows 2000 Server from a Unix machine. A
    lot of people go from windows to Linux though.

    Ignore Open Source at your own peril
    >
    >>> - Sun is about to die. It has done nothing for anyone lately and
    >>> has no further tricks up its sleeve.

    >>
    >> People have been saying this for years. I'll believe it when I see it.

    >
    >Read a paper.

    Ohh...the paaaaper said it...now it must be true. They aren't out of
    business until they are out of business.
    >
    >>> - Sun has failed to make Java live up to its claims of universality.
    >>> Java is for all intents and purposes simply a widespread programming
    >>> language, not a portable computing environment. Portable computing
    >>> environments are, in general, a pipe dream as long as Microsoft is
    >>> around. It will always be Windows vs. open standards.

    >>
    >> They must give you a good edjumacation at the Redmond campus. Java is
    >> by far the best portable computing environment available.

    >
    >Care to name a concrete example? A testimonial?

    Omg - it suprises me that anyone would argue this. Name a better
    portable computing environment? Java is by *far* the most ubiquitous
    environment. Seriously, name anything out there that is even close.
    >
    >>> - Ergo, Java is the weakling of the litter for Python to attack.

    >>
    >> No factual basis for this statement. Java and Python are really
    >> entirely different things. Python is meant as a scripting language,
    >> Java is a Systems programming language. It is meant as an alternative
    >> to C++, Python isn't.

    >
    >You're saying Python isn't useful as a systems language? Then it is already
    >dead.

    man, you have no fear to pull stuff right out of your ass. You must
    be a marketing guy.
    Apparently we have different definitions of what dead is. I don't
    know about you, but I would be fine with the python community staying
    this size, shrinking or growing. To me its about the language, about
    the elegance of the technology, about it's utility to me. Some people
    just don't get that. I have no desire for Python to have the same
    mind share as VB, because I don't want to have to answer all the
    questions on how to write Hello World by people who probably have no
    business programming in the first place. I'm sure that's an elitist
    snob attitude, but I think MS does a greater disservice to people by
    hiding the technical details and making them think they can run
    mission critical services when they are in all reality ill equiped to
    do so (Windows NT/2k, Sql Server, Exchange, C#...need I go on?)

    >
    >> Who does Python have to defend itself against? Python is Open Source.
    >> The only way it's going to die is if everyone stops developing it and
    >> it stagnates.

    >
    >You got it! And development stops when a langauge loses all meaningful
    >mindshare. What is the battle of mindshare? A marketing battle. It is not
    >a technological battle, except in the grossest terms of complete
    >incompetence. Time and again, the marketplace has proven that kludgy but
    >well marketed products carry the day. They only fail when they absolutely
    >can't do the job.
    >

    Well development hasn't stopped, doesn't appeared to have slowed down.
    In fact if I'm any judge it's been speeding up. Compare that to the
    erosion in the MS world.
    >> If that hapens it will be because something *significantly* better came

    >along.
    >
    >No, it is not an engineering meritocracy. Look at a company like DEC.
    >Wonderful technology company. Couldn't market its way out of a paper bag.
    >That's a warning for this c.l.p crowd. Don't sit around congratulating
    >yourselves on how superior your techology is. Recognize the strategic
    >competition and market against it.

    You completely miss the point man. Python and OSS isn't about
    marketing to the masses. It's about giving us cool shit to work with.
    People like you will never get that. But that's ok, because morons
    like you who use languages and tools simply because they are popular
    will continue to get owned when we face you head to head.

    I don't mind Microsoft tools, because when I compete with the typical
    MS zombie, I win everytime.

    Microsoft didn't succeed due to Marketing. They didn't succeed due to
    strategic positioning. They succeeded because they lied to IBM and
    told them they had an Operating System. They got lucky and happened
    to be at the right place at the right time. While the Unix world was
    fractured and bickering.
    >
    >> Python doesn't have to defend
    >> itself, your Microsoft background is showing through here. C# is by
    >> far the weakest language of the four. It is buggy, slow and immature.
    >> It has the smallest user base, the least amount of industry backing

    >
    >and is 100% backed by all the resources of Microsoft. It will not go away,
    >and its shortcomings will be fixed at a blistering pace.

    blistering?!? wtf are you talking about. MS doesn't do *anything* at
    a blistering pace. Are you talking about how they've fixed all their
    security flaws at a blistering pace? Or are you talking about how
    they've fixed the optimization problems with Sql Server at a
    blistering pace? Or are you talking about how it took DirectX till
    version 8.0 to surpass OpenGL at version 1.0? The only relation MS
    has to blisters is that they are like an STD.
    >
    >> and a community that is rising up against it's benefactor.

    >
    >Huh? Care to explain?

    get a paper
    >
    >> I think
    >> you dramatically overstate it's chances. Historically Microsoft
    >> switches technologies every 3 or 4 years. That only gives C# about 2
    >> years to go before it's dead in the water like every other MS
    >> "Innovation".

    >
    >What part of "100% committment across the company" don't you understand?
    >You really are blind. You don't live in Redmond, you can't conceive of
    >having access to this level of information. And who in c.l.p woudl tell you
    >these things?
    >

    What part of Open Source and *immune* to Microsoft don't you
    understand? I think *you* are blinded by the shadow of redmond. Get
    out into the real world, people who don't live in the shadow of the
    tower don't tend to hold it in as high of regard.

    >Well, you've been warned.
    >
    >> Historically
    >> those with the best technology and the best economic system prevail
    >> against inefficient and inferior models.

    >
    >You have *got* to be kidding me. Intel??!? Windows??!?

    Obviously you *aren't* a student of history. You think that Windows
    and Intel have won. You think Open Source developers are resting on
    their laurels thinking smugly about their superiority. You are sadly
    mistaken on about many things. MS won a battle, they certainly
    haven't won the war.

    Doug Tolton
    Doug Tolton, Aug 12, 2003
    #3
  4. Doug Tolton

    John J. Lee Guest

    Doug Tolton <> writes:

    > On Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:43:08 -0700, "Brandon J. Van Every"
    > <> wrote:

    [...]
    > >- in 5 years, nobody will be doing significant amounts of new application
    > >development in C++. The writing is on the wall: garbage collection is
    > >essential. Any C++ code will be support and legacy libraries.

    >
    > That's a ridiculous blanket statement. People will be doing C++
    > development for a long time beyond that. There are people still

    [...]

    You (like me) misread what he wrote, I suspect. *Application*
    development, not development in general. I see no reason to disagree
    that that would be sane (doesn't mean it's going to happen in five
    years, of course).


    > than C# does. MS really shot themselves in the foot when they went to
    > dotnet, essentially the adopted the Java platform 8 years after Java.
    > Now they are playing catchup with an inferior product. I doubt
    > they'll ever catch up to Java overall.


    Remains to be seen.


    > >- Ergo, Java is the weakling of the litter for Python to attack.

    >
    > No factual basis for this statement. Java and Python are really
    > entirely different things. Python is meant as a scripting language,
    > Java is a Systems programming language. It is meant as an alternative
    > to C++, Python isn't.

    [...]

    Well, that's certainly frequently debated.


    John
    John J. Lee, Aug 12, 2003
    #4
  5. Doug Tolton wrote:
    > On Tue, 12 Aug 2003 01:54:12 -0700, "Brandon J. Van Every"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> Doug Tolton wrote:
    >>> On Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:43:08 -0700, "Brandon J. Van Every"
    >>>>
    >>>> - in 5 years, nobody will be doing significant amounts of new
    >>>> application development in C++. The writing is on the wall:
    >>>> garbage collection is essential. Any C++ code will be support and
    >>>> legacy libraries.
    >>>
    >>> That's a ridiculous blanket statement. People will be doing C++
    >>> development for a long time beyond that. There are people still
    >>> writing Cobol for crying out loud.

    >>
    >> Do you honestly believe that people are doing a significant amount
    >> of new application development in Cobol, as opposed to maintenance
    >> work?

    >
    > Apparently MS does, they were promoting Cobol.net pretty heavily not
    > too long ago.


    That's a migration strategy, not new application development.

    > How are they going to crush Mozilla, Chimera or Khtml? You keep
    > touting Mindshare. Whose mindshare is growing MS or Open Source? If
    > you can't answer that honestly then you really are trolling.


    The only people who care about those are open source hackers. The
    mainstream doesn't even know what they are.

    >>> That's a bold statement, considering the abysmal adoption rate of
    >>> C#.

    >>
    >> Within Microsoft, the adoption of C# is universal. That tends to
    >> have a powerful effect on ISV Windows development over time.

    >
    > Really, who cares what MS does?


    I see. So when confronted with data that contradicts your Python world
    view, you change from "that's not true" to "who cares?" Contemplate it
    later, when you've gotten over your first moments of denial.

    > How does MS using C# affect Python?
    > You have yet to establish any kind of Causal connection.
    >
    > Here it is straight, Python has been around going strong for over 10
    > years now, inspite of lack of a corporate pimp. Why is that?


    Because Python has been a niche. If you are content to stay in a niche,
    fine. In that sense Python will always survive. Lisp is similarly used by
    academics, hobbyists, and cranks. If you want to grow out of the niche,
    achieve mainstream industry relevance, and maintain it, then you're going to
    have to market yourself against the likes of C# and Java. Engineering merit
    does *not* win as you attempt to scale up.

    > I could be wrong but I didn't think OpenGL was open source. If it
    > isn't, your argument isn't really a good point then.


    It's an open standard, not open source. That said, I'm pretty sure the
    OpenGL Sample Implementation is now open source. And the Mesa workalike is
    definitely open source, although I don't know why anyone cares about SW
    rendering anymore.

    >> Why can MS catch up? Because Open Source people assume their
    >> technological superiority and rest on their laurels. They think
    >> they don't have to market because they are technically superior.
    >> Also, their ranks are populated with strong engineers who don't
    >> *like* marketing, as a matter of basic personality. They never get
    >> it in their heads that they have to counter-market to some degree in
    >> order to hold the line. If you don't do any marketing, Microsoft
    >> completely out-markets you and then you die, technical merit or not.

    >
    > Hmm...interesting point. Too bad there is simply no factual basis for
    > it. If Microsoft completely out markets everyone and they die, why
    > are there still so many Unix machines around? The only thing that has
    > made any headway against the Unix establishment is Linux.


    Linux *is* marketed, unlike Python. Meditate on that, Grasshopper.


    --
    Cheers, www.3DProgrammer.com
    Brandon Van Every Seattle, WA

    20% of the world is real.
    80% is gobbledygook we make up inside our own heads.
    Brandon J. Van Every, Aug 12, 2003
    #5
  6. In article <bhbe3k$108mav$-berlin.de>,
    "Brandon J. Van Every" <> wrote:

    > I see. So when confronted with data that contradicts your Python world
    > view, you change from "that's not true" to "who cares?" Contemplate it
    > later, when you've gotten over your first moments of denial.


    Ok. I agree with everyone else who's already said it. He's a troll.

    --
    David Eppstein http://www.ics.uci.edu/~eppstein/
    Univ. of California, Irvine, School of Information & Computer Science
    David Eppstein, Aug 12, 2003
    #6
  7. Doug Tolton

    Anand Pillai Guest

    Sounds like being pragmatic to you means being paranoid also.

    Anand

    "Brandon J. Van Every" <> wrote in message news:<bha9ee$vthc2$-berlin.de>...
    > Doug Tolton wrote:
    > > On Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:43:08 -0700, "Brandon J. Van Every"
    > >>
    > >> - in 5 years, nobody will be doing significant amounts of new
    > >> application development in C++. The writing is on the wall: garbage
    > >> collection is essential. Any C++ code will be support and legacy
    > >> libraries.

    > >
    > > That's a ridiculous blanket statement. People will be doing C++
    > > development for a long time beyond that. There are people still
    > > writing Cobol for crying out loud.

    >
    > Do you honestly believe that people are doing a significant amount of new
    > application development in Cobol, as opposed to maintenance work?
    >
    > >> - Microsoft is already implementing said strategy across all levels
    > >> of the company today. Microsoft developers don't do much C++
    > >> development anymore. Various upcoming products are being written
    > >> entirely in C#.

    > >
    > > <sigh> just what we need. More buggy slow products from MS that have
    > > Memory Leaks the size of the Mississippi. C# is not a good
    > > development platform yet. Heck they are practically still in the
    > > standard MS beta period. Everyone knows not to use a MS product on
    > > version 1.0

    >
    > Ignore the trend at your peril. A MS product is one thing. A MS initiative
    > across the entire company is quite another. The last time they did that,
    > Internet Explorer put Netscape in the doghouse. Never, ever, ignore or
    > diminish what Microsoft decides to do as an entire company.
    >
    > >> - The "higher level language" playing field is crowded: C#, Java,
    > >> Perl, and Python. Mainstream industry does not need and will not
    > >> make room for 4 higher level languages. Any of these languages has
    > >> to grow at some other language's expense.

    > >
    > > This statement is really vague, and has almost no factual basis. If
    > > there were only four programming languages the world would be a very
    > > dull place. You forgot to mention Delphi, Visual Basic, Power Builder
    > > and a host of others. There is room for a lot more than 4 programming
    > > languages.

    >
    > Actually, Visual Basic vs. C# would be a good discussion in another
    > newsgroup. Because the books about .NET Framework that I'm reading, show
    > how VB is being modded and borgged to fit the Intermediate Language. Which
    > is essentially C#. I wonder if it would be reasonable to say that in 5
    > years, nobody will be doing new app development in VB, it'll all be C#? But
    > I'll take that up with the VB crowd.
    >
    > >> - Python will never displace C# on Windows. It's Microsoft's home
    > >> turf and you can't fight directly with The Beast. You will see UNIX
    > >> boxes running Python, not Windows boxes.

    > >
    > > That's a bold statement, considering the abysmal adoption rate of C#.

    >
    > Within Microsoft, the adoption of C# is universal. That tends to have a
    > powerful effect on ISV Windows development over time.
    >
    > > C# isn't the dominant windows programming language currently, rather
    > > its Visual Basic. Java has far more applications written for Windows
    > > than C# does. MS really shot themselves in the foot when they went to
    > > dotnet, essentially the adopted the Java platform 8 years after Java.
    > > Now they are playing catchup with an inferior product. I doubt
    > > they'll ever catch up to Java overall.

    >
    > The problem with your thinking here is there's very clear evidence that
    > Microsoft can and does catch up to and surpass technologies that they have
    > fumblingly cloned. In fact, that's the basic Microsoft corporate
    > philosophy. Version 1.0 sucks, 2.0 is ok... 5.0 actually is a really good
    > product and then the competition can't catch up anymore. Example: DirectX.
    > When it started it was complete garbage. Nowadays it is technically
    > superior to OpenGL in most areas. Why they don't finally implement doubles
    > and put OpenGL out of its misery, I'm not sure.
    >
    > Why can MS catch up? Because Open Source people assume their technological
    > superiority and rest on their laurels. They think they don't have to market
    > because they are technically superior. Also, their ranks are populated with
    > strong engineers who don't *like* marketing, as a matter of basic
    > personality. They never get it in their heads that they have to
    > counter-market to some degree in order to hold the line. If you don't do
    > any marketing, Microsoft completely out-markets you and then you die,
    > technical merit or not.
    >
    > >> - Sun is about to die. It has done nothing for anyone lately and
    > >> has no further tricks up its sleeve.

    > >
    > > People have been saying this for years. I'll believe it when I see it.

    >
    > Read a paper.
    >
    > >> - Sun has failed to make Java live up to its claims of universality.
    > >> Java is for all intents and purposes simply a widespread programming
    > >> language, not a portable computing environment. Portable computing
    > >> environments are, in general, a pipe dream as long as Microsoft is
    > >> around. It will always be Windows vs. open standards.

    > >
    > > They must give you a good edjumacation at the Redmond campus. Java is
    > > by far the best portable computing environment available.

    >
    > Care to name a concrete example? A testimonial?
    >
    > >> - Ergo, Java is the weakling of the litter for Python to attack.

    > >
    > > No factual basis for this statement. Java and Python are really
    > > entirely different things. Python is meant as a scripting language,
    > > Java is a Systems programming language. It is meant as an alternative
    > > to C++, Python isn't.

    >
    > You're saying Python isn't useful as a systems language? Then it is already
    > dead.
    >
    > > Who does Python have to defend itself against? Python is Open Source.
    > > The only way it's going to die is if everyone stops developing it and
    > > it stagnates.

    >
    > You got it! And development stops when a langauge loses all meaningful
    > mindshare. What is the battle of mindshare? A marketing battle. It is not
    > a technological battle, except in the grossest terms of complete
    > incompetence. Time and again, the marketplace has proven that kludgy but
    > well marketed products carry the day. They only fail when they absolutely
    > can't do the job.
    >
    > > If that hapens it will be because something *significantly* better came

    > along.
    >
    > No, it is not an engineering meritocracy. Look at a company like DEC.
    > Wonderful technology company. Couldn't market its way out of a paper bag.
    > That's a warning for this c.l.p crowd. Don't sit around congratulating
    > yourselves on how superior your techology is. Recognize the strategic
    > competition and market against it.
    >
    > > Python doesn't have to defend
    > > itself, your Microsoft background is showing through here. C# is by
    > > far the weakest language of the four. It is buggy, slow and immature.
    > > It has the smallest user base, the least amount of industry backing

    >
    > and is 100% backed by all the resources of Microsoft. It will not go away,
    > and its shortcomings will be fixed at a blistering pace.
    >
    > > and a community that is rising up against it's benefactor.

    >
    > Huh? Care to explain?
    >
    > > I think
    > > you dramatically overstate it's chances. Historically Microsoft
    > > switches technologies every 3 or 4 years. That only gives C# about 2
    > > years to go before it's dead in the water like every other MS
    > > "Innovation".

    >
    > What part of "100% committment across the company" don't you understand?
    > You really are blind. You don't live in Redmond, you can't conceive of
    > having access to this level of information. And who in c.l.p woudl tell you
    > these things?
    >
    > Well, you've been warned.
    >
    > > Historically
    > > those with the best technology and the best economic system prevail
    > > against inefficient and inferior models.

    >
    > You have *got* to be kidding me. Intel??!? Windows??!?
    Anand Pillai, Aug 13, 2003
    #7
  8. Doug Tolton wrote:
    (snip)
    > Java and Python are really
    > entirely different things. Python is meant as a scripting language,
    > Java is a Systems programming language.


    Err... Is this another troll ? Or is it me being just dumb ?

    I'd like to see some 'System programming' (I think we don't give 'system
    programming' the same meaning) in Java, that can't be done in Python.

    (snip the rest)

    Bruno
    Bruno Desthuilliers, Aug 16, 2003
    #8
  9. Doug Tolton

    Doug Tolton Guest

    On Sat, 16 Aug 2003 21:55:02 +0200, Bruno Desthuilliers
    <> wrote:

    >Doug Tolton wrote:
    >(snip)
    >> Java and Python are really
    >> entirely different things. Python is meant as a scripting language,
    >> Java is a Systems programming language.

    >
    >Err... Is this another troll ? Or is it me being just dumb ?
    >
    >I'd like to see some 'System programming' (I think we don't give 'system
    >programming' the same meaning) in Java, that can't be done in Python.
    >


    No that is not a troll. I think Java is better at building some large
    systems than Python is. That's what it was designed for, python was
    designed to be a scalable scripting language. Python wasn't designed
    to be a replacement for C++ to my knowledge. Are you saying that
    python was designed to be a replacement for C / C++ for building large
    scale systems? If so I'm suffering under a mis-apprehension of what
    Python is all about.

    I'm using System in the generic sense rather than the specific sense
    of Operating System.

    It isn't a matter of whether it can be done in Python. You can write
    anything in assembly for that matter, the reason you don't is
    typically productivity. That doesn't mean you shouldn't write
    anything in Assembly does it?

    I don't know how stating the obvious 'that some languages are better
    at some tasks than other languages' would be considered a troll.



    Doug Tolton
    (format t "~a@~a~a.~a" "dtolton" "ya" "hoo" "com")
    Doug Tolton, Aug 20, 2003
    #9
  10. Doug Tolton

    Andrew Dalke Guest

    Alex Martelli and Doug Tolton, on 'scripting' vs. 'systems' languages:

    Doug
    > > I'm using System in the generic sense rather than the specific sense
    > > of Operating System.


    Alex:
    > Yep, same here. Although in the expression "system programming"
    > it IS more often than not an _Operating_ system that is meant.


    The original article I know of which tried to pin down the differences
    between the two approaches, at least in the context of modern
    languages, is Ousterhout's essay at
    http://home.pacbell.net/ouster/scripting.html

    By its definitions, Python is a system language:

    Scripting languages aren't intended for writing applications from
    scratch; they are intended primarily for plugging together components.

    scripting languages tend to be typeless: all things look and behave the
    same so that they are interchangeable.

    Scripting languages are often string-oriented, since this provides a
    uniform representation for many different things.

    Another key difference between scripting languages and system
    programming languages is that scripting languages are usually
    interpreted whereas system programming languages are usually compiled.

    (Python is byte compiled on the fly, but so is Tcl. And most Java
    implementations.)

    Scripting languages represent a different set of tradeoffs than system
    programming languages. They give up execution speed and strength
    of typing relative to system programming languages but provide
    significantly higher programmer productivity and software reuse.

    I no longer see his essay as interesting. I bring it up to point out
    the scripting vs. system language debate is based on nebulous grounds
    because there are many, many divergent interpretations of what those
    two terms mean.


    Alex:
    > as well as a source of income;-). But note that the firm does NOT
    > advertise the role of Python in their systems: "all rock-solid C++"
    > is the message marketing wants to keep sending


    What's wrong with that? It's just using a C library. ;)

    Andrew
    Andrew Dalke, Aug 20, 2003
    #10
  11. A.M. Kuchling wrote:

    > On Wed, 20 Aug 2003 17:00:13 GMT,
    > Alex Martelli <> wrote:
    >> "happen" to be excellent for the job. Not just my opinion -- e.g.,
    >> Mitch Kapor and his OSAF chose Python as the application-programming
    >> language for the Chandler system, and if you look at the specs for
    >> that ambitious undertaking you'll see it WILL be quite a large-scale
    >> system when it matures.

    >
    > I don't find OSAF's choice of Python to be much of an endorsement.
    > Given that most of the principals involved didn't seem to actually
    > know Python at the time of the initial announcement, I can only
    > conclude that they thought choosing Python would give them some
    > credibility in the open-source community, and not because they did a
    > careful comparison of Python with the alternatives.


    I think you're doing them an injustice. After all, enough open-source
    work (by far!) is done in (e.g.) C, or Java, or C++, that choosing any
    of these languages, say, would most obviously not have in any way damaged
    their "credibility in the open-source community"! Sure, by choosing
    Python they have gained (e.g.) my personal sympathy, but by the same
    token by choosing (e.g.) Perl they might have gained the sympathy of the
    much-vaster hordes of Perl fans, no?

    It WOULD be interesting to hear from the OSAF guys exactly why they
    chose Python, what other alternatives they compared it to, and what
    criteria they weighed by how much. But clearly, one way or another,
    they DID form the opinion that Python will be suitable to build the
    ambitious, large-scale system they aspire to -- so, the fact that
    "Python is excellent for this job" is NOT just my opinion is amply
    confirmed... whether Kapor & friends made their choice by listening
    to the opinions of others (Raymond, Berners-Lee, Eckel, whoever) or
    (as they appear to claim on their pages) by doing their own
    comparisons of the available alternatives.


    Alex
    Alex Martelli, Aug 20, 2003
    #11
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