[SciPy-user] python (against java) advocacy for scientific projects

Simon Palmer simon.palmer@gmail....
Mon Jan 19 02:38:19 CST 2009


You may already have looked there, but there has been a bit of discussion
related to this on stackoverflow

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/371966/are-there-any-good-reasons-why-i-should-not-use-python
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/202337/how-do-i-make-the-business-case-for-python

Simon

On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 8:01 AM, Marko Loparic <marko.loparic@gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Could you suggest links justifying the use of python instead of java
> for a scientific project?
>
> I work for a R&D departemnt of a large company. We develop
> mathematical models, some of them in python.
>
> For a new project one manager suggested me to use java instead of
> python. He says that python has performance problems. (It is true that
> we had performance problems in one of our python project done by a
> colleague but the code was written without paying attention to that
> issue).
>
> So I am collecting links supporting the choice of python.
> http://python-advocacy.wikidot.com/
>
> It is open for anonymous edit, so please add what you want. But if you
> prefer, answer me by email and I edit the site myself.
>
> What I would like to add:
>
> 1) I am already satisfied with what I collected for the python x java
> comparison. It shouldn't be too long, otherwise managers don't read.
> But if you have a link with an impressive new argument/case study
> please add.
>
> 2) Comparison with java specifically for scientific computing. I would
> like to have links of two kinds.
> - giving reasons:
> - giving evidence, i.e. advanced projects which use python (pytables, pyro)
> Also I would like to have link confirming/supporting impressions that I
> have:
>  a) for a new scientific project there is no reason to prefer java
>  b) if someone opts for java it is because they don't know python or
> need a very specific library which does not exist in python (but there
> is no such library for scientific computing)
>  c) the quantity of new advanced java projects in scientific
> computing is very small (how can we show that?)
>  d) the important scientific computing projects in java started more
> than 5 years ago
> I will also make a list of scientific resources: scipy, numpy, etc.
>
> 3) On the issue of performance
> - why exactly can we say that speed limiation of python is *not* a
> problem to use it for high performance computing?
> - argument to be developed/supported:
>  - pure java loop can often beat a pure python loop, but a pure C
> loop also beats a pure java loop. So if we need high performance loops
> we need to use C/C++ routines (or numpy, or pyrex) anyway and it is
> much better/easier to do the interface in python than in java.
>
> If there is a better place where the community prefers to host this
> kind of information, please tell me.
>
> Thanks!
> Marko
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