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

David Cournapeau david@ar.media.kyoto-u.ac...
Tue Jan 20 20:28:07 CST 2009


Sturla Molden wrote:
> CERN ROOT is interesting though. It has a Python front end, and is LGPL
> licensed. For those who don't know, ROOT is a data analysis framework
> written for LHC (the new Doomsday machine), do deal with the enormous data
> sets it generates (I've heard it is about ~10 terabytes per run).

At the current stage of technology, dealing with this kind of data
requires a lot of planning, work and tradeoff which can simply not be
used as a general rule. I mean, those projects are so big, with so many
people involved that trying to deduce anything worthwhile from their
choice of language does not sound convincing at all; actually, I would
not be surprised if technical matters such as language choice is of
secondary interest/importance compared to things like what people in
this community are familiar with, etc...

It is like all those talks about Ada vs C vs whatever for reliable code
- mostly conjecture to make the point people were intending to make
anyway. It has been consistently showed that technical matters were just
the symptoms of bigger organizational problems. On python ML, people
throw at each other technical explanation about failure in Ariane 5 - on
a related problem space, I find the following much more eye-opening (ad
filled page):

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/06/writestuff.html

We are developers, so we like to think technology is what matters. I
think we all know at some level it does not, but we just can't admit it
:) I hate C++, but I know a lot of very fine softwares were done with
it. A lot of working softwares are done on windows, with excel and
visual basic.

cheers,

David


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