Re: Python should try to displace Java

Discussion in 'Python' started by John Roth, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. John Roth

    John Roth Guest

    "Brandon J. Van Every" <> wrote in message
    news:bh9g66$vst1p$-berlin.de...
    > 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.
    >
    > 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.


    Well, I tend to agree that people are slowly oozing that way. I think that
    5 years is a bit to enthusiastic a prediction, though. What will happen is
    that C++ will gradually lose market share to other languages.

    > - 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#.


    Again, this is an overstatement. New products are being written in
    C#, older products are staying in C++, and some core operating system
    products likewise. I have a huge vision of the Windows kernel being
    written in C#, for example.

    > - 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.


    You missed Ruby and TCL. Granted, TCL is probably only being held up
    by TK and Expect, though. Ruby is the one that's gaining fastest, and it has
    a number of interesting features that Guido would do well to think about.

    Perl, on the other hand, has this Perl 6 effort going on; in a couple of
    years
    its going to be a completely new language.

    > - 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.


    Duh.

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


    Don't count the chickens until the fat lady sings.

    > - 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.


    You're contradicting yourself. Python cannot be portable because Microsoft
    is around?

    > - Java is proprietary. Python is open source. Open Source is the best

    shot
    > that anyone has at competing with Windows.


    Duh? Again, the fat lady isn't even gargling in the wings on that one.

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


    You forgot Ruby and TCL again.

    > - 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.


    There is a major divide between the statically typed languages and the
    dynamically typed languages. To sell Python, you need to make two
    points:

    1. Static typing does not do the job that its proponents claim for it
    well enough to be worth the extra development time it imposes, and

    2. Python is better for serious systems development than Perl,
    Ruby, TCL, etc.

    There are a number of people saying item 1, some rather
    vociferously, but there is a noticable lack of hard data on the
    issue. Regardless of the data, the arguement applies to C++,
    Java and C# equally: they all have the same fundamental
    approach to static typing.

    On number 2, I don't think there's any question about Python's
    general superiority to Perl and TCL for serious, large scale
    development work. Ruby, on the other hand, is a completely
    different question.

    So the basic conclusion is that Ruby is the enemy to be
    taken on, not Java.

    John Roth


    > --
    > 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.
    >
    John Roth, Aug 17, 2003
    #1
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  2. John Roth

    John Roth Guest

    "Roy Smith" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "John Roth" <> wrote:
    > > You missed Ruby and TCL. Granted, TCL is probably only being held up
    > > by TK and Expect, though.

    >
    > Don't kid yourself. I work on a commercial application which includes
    > almost 20,000 lines of TCL, and not a single line of it is Tk or Expect.
    > As an embedded scripting language, it fills a very nice niche.
    >
    > This particular collection of TCL code is the 3rd generation of
    > scripting code for this application. The first generation was a huge
    > shell script, which was quickly outgrown. The second generation was a
    > home-brew language which was a complete failure. The third generation
    > was embedding TCL, which was a roaring success.
    >
    > I've been known to mutter "TCL is a stupid language" more than a few
    > times (typically during code reviews), but it does have a few things
    > going for it. It's dead simple to learn, reasonably powerful, and it's
    > trivial to imbed (simplier than Python).
    >
    > Still, for all that, I suspect it's a bit of an evolutionary dead end.


    I agree. There's a huge amount of intertia since, for many applications,
    there isn't a whole lot of difference between the four major scripting
    languages.

    John Roth
    John Roth, Aug 17, 2003
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  3. "John Roth" <> wrote in message news:<>...

    > ... Ruby is the one that's gaining fastest, and it has
    > a number of interesting features that Guido would do well to think about.


    Out of curiosity, which features are you referring to?


    Michele
    Michele Simionato, Aug 17, 2003
    #3
  4. John Roth

    John Roth Guest

    "Michele Simionato" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "John Roth" <> wrote in message

    news:<>...
    >
    > > ... Ruby is the one that's gaining fastest, and it has
    > > a number of interesting features that Guido would do well to think

    about.
    >
    > Out of curiosity, which features are you referring to?


    There's another thread started today where several of us have
    posted lists (among a whole lot of idiotic flaming, unfortunately.)
    Ruby solves a number of long-standing problems (and adds a number
    of it's own, of course - nothing's perfect.)

    John Roth

    >
    >
    > Michele
    John Roth, Aug 18, 2003
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