The Industry choice

Discussion in 'Python' started by Sridhar R, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Sridhar  R

    Sridhar R Guest

    >From technical point of view, I could not understand the the reasoning
    behind using Java in major companies. Sure that Python, is used in
    some, but still Java is considered as a sure-job language.

    After being a python programmer for long time, I consider it painful to
    learn/use Java now (well, like many I will be forced to do that in my
    job).

    What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons for
    that?
     
    Sridhar R, Dec 30, 2004
    #1
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  2. "Sridhar R" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > >From technical point of view, I could not understand the the reasoning

    > behind using Java in major companies. Sure that Python, is used in
    > some, but still Java is considered as a sure-job language.
    >
    > After being a python programmer for long time, I consider it painful to
    > learn/use Java now (well, like many I will be forced to do that in my
    > job).
    >
    > What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    > languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons for

    that?

    Are there "viable, technical reasons"? That would be doubtful.

    But

    There is a reason very important to major companies.
    When you leave that company, there will be a *long* line of Java programmers
    waiting to take your place.

    There need be nothing "technical" about such a decision.
    Thomas Bartkus
     
    Thomas Bartkus, Dec 30, 2004
    #2
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  3. On 30 Dec 2004 08:58:36 -0800, Sridhar R <> wrote:
    > >From technical point of view, I could not understand the the reasoning

    > behind using Java in major companies. Sure that Python, is used in
    > some, but still Java is considered as a sure-job language.


    It certainly is not because Python is bad or something. Organizations
    typically take lot of time to change -- be it technology or office
    furniture.

    We either need time for folks to accept dynamic, "scripting"
    languages, or a lot of "modern" language programmers need to gang up
    against managers and stuff. :)

    >
    > After being a python programmer for long time, I consider it painful to
    > learn/use Java now (well, like many I will be forced to do that in my
    > job).
    >
    > What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    > languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons for
    > that?
    >
    > --
    > http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
    >



    --
    Premshree Pillai
    http://www.livejournal.com/~premshree
     
    Premshree Pillai, Dec 30, 2004
    #3
  4. Sridhar  R

    Steve Holden Guest

    Premshree Pillai wrote:

    > On 30 Dec 2004 08:58:36 -0800, Sridhar R <> wrote:
    >
    >>>From technical point of view, I could not understand the the reasoning

    >>behind using Java in major companies. Sure that Python, is used in
    >>some, but still Java is considered as a sure-job language.

    >
    >
    > It certainly is not because Python is bad or something. Organizations
    > typically take lot of time to change -- be it technology or office
    > furniture.
    >
    > We either need time for folks to accept dynamic, "scripting"
    > languages, or a lot of "modern" language programmers need to gang up
    > against managers and stuff. :)
    >
    >

    [...]
    Right, what have the managers ever done for us?

    regards
    Steve
    --
    Steve Holden http://www.holdenweb.com/
    Python Web Programming http://pydish.holdenweb.com/
    Holden Web LLC +1 703 861 4237 +1 800 494 3119
     
    Steve Holden, Dec 30, 2004
    #4
  5. Sridhar R <> wrote:
    ...
    > What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    > languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons for
    > that?


    Viable AND technical: nah.

    Viable (forget the technical): yeah. Managers' dreams are about
    replacing costly, quirky individual human=being programmers with
    die-cast, factory-made replaceable parts. Java sort of promises that
    (doesn't _deliver_, but, that's another issue;-).


    Alex
     
    Alex Martelli, Dec 30, 2004
    #5
  6. Sridhar  R

    It's me Guest

    "Premshree Pillai" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > It certainly is not because Python is bad or something. Organizations
    > typically take lot of time to change -- be it technology or office
    > furniture.
    >


    In our industry, the code for the bread and butter tool hasn't really change
    in over 40 years!
     
    It's me, Dec 30, 2004
    #6
  7. Sridhar  R

    Aahz Guest

    In article <>,
    Sridhar R <> wrote:
    >
    >What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    >languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons for
    >that?


    It's a decent cross-platform way of delivering libraries compared to C
    libraries. We've been forced into Java because fewer and fewer credit
    card processing libraries are available as C libraries. Just yesterday,
    I ran into some annoyance because the PGP library I'm using doesn't allow
    recombining their .jar files due to signing. Which has some good and bad
    features, I suppose.
    --
    Aahz () <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

    "19. A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming,
    is not worth knowing." --Alan Perlis
     
    Aahz, Dec 31, 2004
    #7
  8. Sridhar  R

    Bulba! Guest

    On 30 Dec 2004 08:58:36 -0800, "Sridhar R"
    <> wrote:

    >>From technical point of view, I could not understand the the reasoning

    >behind using Java in major companies. Sure that Python, is used in
    >some, but still Java is considered as a sure-job language.
    >
    >After being a python programmer for long time, I consider it painful to
    >learn/use Java now (well, like many I will be forced to do that in my
    >job).


    >What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    >languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons for
    >that?


    It's the $$$ of the big organization behind it and all the
    inertia^H^H^H^H^H^H stability of it.

    Note all the fuss that was made when IBM has "spent $1
    billion on Linux", for instance (or so it was said). Managers
    paid attention to that (at least that was my impression).

    AFAIK, Linux didn't really change in technical sense
    just because IBM has embraced Linux, or at least not much.
    But to companies and manager the major point is:

    Big Blue has embraced it.

    That means Linux going to stay around (at least in their
    opinion) and it will have the backing of Major Vendor,
    because Major Vendor can't afford to drop it (or so their
    thinking goes; I'm sure there could be precedents showing
    smth to the contrary, esp. when mergers/takeovers were
    involved - off the top of my head, Informix is a case in
    point).

    Us techies can find it relatively easy to switch from one
    technology to another, but even then it costs us considrable
    effort.

    For managers of companies it's worse: the company makes
    VERY substantial investments into any technology it "marries",
    and that means big losses if it goes. Long-term stability
    of this technology in terms of "we're not going to be left out
    in cold alone with this technology to feed it" means a lot
    to them. Even a poor technology with external backing
    of big, stable vendor is better than the excellent technology
    without it. That's the downside of Adam Smith's division of
    labor: it's very nice that it makes you so much more productive
    -- the problem is that it also makes you automatically dependent
    on other people, who tomorrow might feel like finding a more
    interesting open source project, or joining a Tybetan
    monastery, for instance, is better use of their lives.

    Why managers actually ain't stupid in doing things like
    embracing Java a following anecdote may illustrate nicely:

    A friend of mine, after whom I got the sysadmin job, got a
    job in CERN in Geneva. Once upon a time they needed to
    get those industrial controllers used in physical experiments
    programmed in a peculiar way. Since at the time there was
    no available language or toolkit suitable for the purpose that
    would fit what physicists needed to achieve, they hired this
    guy to write a small programming language for them.

    I don't know the actual details, but the guy got the job done.

    Since that time the controllers with appropriate performance
    and features have appeared on the market. However, now
    the managers cannot fire or reassign this guy, because there
    are two problems:

    1. nobody except him has the faintest idea how he has done that.

    2. the software of those controllers obviously got "interfaced"
    with the remaining software (and as we know, applications
    live forever) and the quirks of that software obviously externalized
    themselves elsewhere in the remaining software, so adapting the
    apps to new controllers would cost more effort than it is
    worth - basically rediscovering what the hell was done down there
    in all the source code would be necessary (almost reverse
    engineering), much of the debugging would have to be done again,
    maintenance, etc. - all those efforts quickly add up.

    So the "known evil" is kept in place because it is too costly to
    switch to realize a relatively small benefit.

    So that guy is kept in his job "just in case" - doing basically
    nothing on the job.

    Think about it: he's paid for DOING NOTHING, well, basically
    just for being ready to make minor patches or ports of
    his software (this is a case of "vendor lock-in" if there ever
    was one).

    This is the sort of situation that managers are rationally
    afraid of.

    For Python a Big Thing would happen if some Major Vendor
    embraced it as its Official Language(tm). Python language
    itself could turn into a smoking crock the very next day, but
    everybody who doesn't live under the rock would still be
    writing in it.



    --
    It's a man's life in a Python Programming Association.
     
    Bulba!, Dec 31, 2004
    #8
  9. Sridhar  R

    Bulba! Guest

    On Thu, 30 Dec 2004 12:59:57 -0500, Steve Holden <>
    wrote:

    >> We either need time for folks to accept dynamic, "scripting"
    >> languages, or a lot of "modern" language programmers need to gang up
    >> against managers and stuff. :)


    >[...]
    >Right, what have the managers ever done for us?


    Shoot the damn kulaks, I say. They ain't gonna stand
    in the way of progress. ;o)




    --
    It's a man's life in a Python Programming Association.
     
    Bulba!, Dec 31, 2004
    #9
  10. Sridhar  R

    Alan Gauld Guest

    On 30 Dec 2004 08:58:36 -0800, "Sridhar R"
    <> wrote:
    > What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    > languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons for
    > that?


    Decisions are made by men in suits who read very expensive
    business magazines, read "technical reports" by the like of
    Gartner and Forester and get taken on expenses-paid trips by
    company sales reps. My boss has never had his lunch paid
    for by a man selling Python...

    Think about the PHB in Dilbert, if some guy in a sharp suit from
    a big supplier says use Java, while Dilbert and the others say
    Python what will he pick?

    There are some valid technical reasons to do with performance and
    security too, but frankly, they come a long way down the list...

    Alan G.
    Author of the Learn to Program website
    http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld
     
    Alan Gauld, Dec 31, 2004
    #10
  11. Sridhar  R

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Sridhar R" <> writes:
    > What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    > languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons for that?


    I think you have to be more careful when you program in Python. Java
    is statically typed and can do all kinds of compile time checks that
    catch errors which can crash your Python program after it's running.
    The cure in Python involves very thorough testing, and it often means
    more test-debug-edit cycles than you'd need with static typing. It's
    also possible to miss stuff--not just type errors, but uncaught
    exceptions, errors due to misspelled variable names (Python lacks
    declarations), and so forth. Some Pythonistas respond with a blurb
    about test-driven development, but really, the idea of programming in
    HLL's instead of assembler is that the language is supposed to take
    care of stuff so that you don't have to. Java code is larger and
    takes longer to write, but has a higher chance of working properly
    once it compiles and passes basic tests. (Of course you still have to
    test it thoroughly, but you'll tend to hit fewer errors once you've
    passed the initial and somewhat high hurdle of getting the code to
    work at all).

    Basically, highly-skilled programmers can be very productive with
    Python, maybe more productive than they can be with Java.
    Medium-skilled programmers, which is what the industry is full of, can
    mess up very badly with a language like Python. With Java, it's
    harder to mess up too badly.

    I'm involved in a development project for something that's security
    critical and has to be reliable. The implementation language hasn't
    been chosen yet. Python and Java are both possibilities. I'm fine
    with the idea of using Python for demos and prototypes. For the
    production system I think we may be better off using Java.
    Reliability of the final product is more important than rapid
    implementation.
     
    Paul Rubin, Dec 31, 2004
    #11
  12. Sridhar  R

    Bulba! Guest

    On Thu, 30 Dec 2004 12:59:57 -0500, Steve Holden <>
    wrote:
    >> We either need time for folks to accept dynamic, "scripting"
    >> languages, or a lot of "modern" language programmers need to gang up
    >> against managers and stuff. :)


    >[...]
    >Right, what have the managers ever done for us?


    I must have been slow last night (my usual state), so I
    didn't catch your joke.

    Respectfully, I have to disagree: Terrific race, managers.
    Terrific. ;-)



    --
    It's a man's life in a Python Programming Association.
     
    Bulba!, Dec 31, 2004
    #12
  13. "Thomas Bartkus" <> writes:

    [...]

    > > What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    > > languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons
    > > for that?

    >
    > Are there "viable, technical reasons"? That would be doubtful.
    >
    > But
    >
    > There is a reason very important to major companies. When you leave
    > that company, there will be a *long* line of Java programmers
    > waiting to take your place.


    IMO learning Python is a matter of few days for Java programmer.
     
    Peter Dembinski, Dec 31, 2004
    #13
  14. On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 02:13:27 +0100, Bulba! wrote:

    > On 30 Dec 2004 08:58:36 -0800, "Sridhar R"
    > <> wrote:
    >

    [snip]
    >
    >>What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    >>languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons for
    >>that?

    >
    > It's the $$$ of the big organization behind it and all the
    > inertia^H^H^H^H^H^H stability of it.
    >
    > Note all the fuss that was made when IBM has "spent $1
    > billion on Linux", for instance (or so it was said). Managers
    > paid attention to that (at least that was my impression).
    >
    > AFAIK, Linux didn't really change in technical sense
    > just because IBM has embraced Linux, or at least not much.
    > But to companies and manager the major point is:
    >
    > Big Blue has embraced it.


    [add a few grains of salt to the following...]
    Manager culture is still very much mired in rituals that may in one form
    or another go back to hunter-gatherer days (or maybe even further); that
    'the industry choice' is more often than not something backed by a *major*
    company is part of a ritual complex based on relations to the alpha male.
    Small companies ingratiate themselves with their perceived betters by
    using their products, even when technically far superior products would be
    available. When the 'market leader' produces a new toy, everyone who wants
    to be in his favor must use it _and_ also damn the toys available from any
    of those competing for leadership, viz. the ongoing state of cold war
    between Sun and MS and their respective worshipers. Toys that have not
    been sanctioned by the leader, or that are, even worse, de facto unknown
    to him, are met with ignorance, scorn, or even repression.

    [snip]
    > For Python a Big Thing would happen if some Major Vendor
    > embraced it as its Official Language(tm). Python language
    > itself could turn into a smoking crock the very next day, but
    > everybody who doesn't live under the rock would still be
    > writing in it.


    The moral is, of course, that either the Python community's alpha geeks
    need to get access to controlling interest in a *major* company (or to
    become successful enough with their own companies to register on the
    current *major* companies radar as potential competition) or as you
    say, Python needs to be embraced like Linux was. That's the way to win the
    hearts of software companies' managers.

    --
    Christopher
     
    Christopher Koppler, Dec 31, 2004
    #14
  15. On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 12:05:47 +0100, Peter Dembinski wrote:

    > "Thomas Bartkus" <> writes:
    >
    > [...]
    >
    >> > What makes such companies to choose Java over dynamic, productive
    >> > languages like Python? Are there any viable, technical reasons
    >> > for that?

    >>
    >> Are there "viable, technical reasons"? That would be doubtful.
    >>
    >> But
    >>
    >> There is a reason very important to major companies. When you leave
    >> that company, there will be a *long* line of Java programmers
    >> waiting to take your place.

    >
    > IMO learning Python is a matter of few days for Java programmer.


    True, but learning to *think* in Python takes a while longer. That static
    straitjacket takes some time to loosen...

    --
    Christopher
     
    Christopher Koppler, Dec 31, 2004
    #15
  16. Sridhar  R

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Christopher Koppler <> writes:
    > The moral is, of course, that either the Python community's alpha
    > geeks need to get access to controlling interest in a *major*
    > company (or to become successful enough with their own companies to
    > register on the current *major* companies radar as potential
    > competition) or as you say, Python needs to be embraced like Linux
    > was. That's the way to win the hearts of software companies' managers.


    It's not just a matter of attitude or politics. Python is an
    excellent choice for many projects. For some other projects, it's
    clearly unsuitable. For yet other projects, it's a plausible choice
    but there are sound technical reasons to be wary of it.
     
    Paul Rubin, Dec 31, 2004
    #16
  17. On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 03:49:44 -0800, Paul Rubin wrote:

    > Christopher Koppler <> writes:
    >> The moral is, of course, that either the Python community's alpha
    >> geeks need to get access to controlling interest in a *major*
    >> company (or to become successful enough with their own companies to
    >> register on the current *major* companies radar as potential
    >> competition) or as you say, Python needs to be embraced like Linux
    >> was. That's the way to win the hearts of software companies' managers.

    >
    > It's not just a matter of attitude or politics. Python is an
    > excellent choice for many projects. For some other projects, it's
    > clearly unsuitable. For yet other projects, it's a plausible choice
    > but there are sound technical reasons to be wary of it.


    IMO (and - indubitably limited - experience) in the many cases where it
    *would* be an excellent choice, it *is* most often a matter of politics,
    to have a project use, say C# or Java instead of Python (or Lisp for that
    matter) as the main development language.

    --
    Christopher
     
    Christopher Koppler, Dec 31, 2004
    #17
  18. Sridhar  R

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Christopher Koppler <> writes:
    > IMO (and - indubitably limited - experience) in the many cases where it
    > *would* be an excellent choice, it *is* most often a matter of politics,
    > to have a project use, say C# or Java instead of Python (or Lisp for that
    > matter) as the main development language.


    I don't know that C# is really that much different from Python. I
    haven't used it but I have the impression that it's sort of similar
    under the skin.
     
    Paul Rubin, Dec 31, 2004
    #18
  19. On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 04:03:53 -0800, Paul Rubin wrote:

    > Christopher Koppler <> writes:
    >> IMO (and - indubitably limited - experience) in the many cases where it
    >> *would* be an excellent choice, it *is* most often a matter of politics,
    >> to have a project use, say C# or Java instead of Python (or Lisp for that
    >> matter) as the main development language.

    >
    > I don't know that C# is really that much different from Python. I
    > haven't used it but I have the impression that it's sort of similar
    > under the skin.


    Well, it *does* take some pointers from Python but it's still
    much more like Java (and even C++) under the hood, AFAIK. I'll get to
    know firsthand soon, though, as I'll have to acquaint myself fully with
    C#'s benefits, pitfalls and whatnot for a new project I'm on that (for
    definitely political reasons) will have it as the main development
    language. I'd pity myself if it weren't temporary; Python withdrawal isn't
    good for my health ;-)

    --
    Christopher
     
    Christopher Koppler, Dec 31, 2004
    #19
  20. Paul Rubin <http://> writes:

    [...]

    > I'm involved in a development project for something that's security
    > critical and has to be reliable. The implementation language hasn't
    > been chosen yet. Python and Java are both possibilities. I'm fine
    > with the idea of using Python for demos and prototypes. For the
    > production system I think we may be better off using Java.
    > Reliability of the final product is more important than rapid
    > implementation.


    If it has to be both reliable and secure, I suggest you used more
    redundant language such as Ada 95.
     
    Peter Dembinski, Dec 31, 2004
    #20
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