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

Bill Baxter wbaxter@gmail....
Mon Jan 19 15:31:48 CST 2009

On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 6:16 AM, Sturla Molden <sturla@molden.no> wrote:
> On 1/19/2009 9:33 PM, Marko Loparic wrote:
>> Specifically on this point, playing the devil's advocate, one could
>> argue that using java we could also migrate the offending routine to
>> C. Is there an element to argue that the Python/C mix is simpler or
>> more powerful than the same for java/C?
> You can use JNI with Java, and obtain the same effect. But as a 'glue
> language' Java is inferior to Python (i.e. Java is more verbose, and
> statically typed).

Well, some would consider static typing a blessing as it lets you
catch a lot of dumb errors in advance instead of having to discover
them by running the code.  With a statically typed language you can
get by without unit tests (even though really you *should* have them
anyway).  But with a dynamic language like Python they become much
more critical.  If you don't have  100% test coverage of all pathways
in your code, it's very easy to have a simple typo or other silly
error lurking, waiting to bite you.

> And Java has shortcomings for scientific computing,
> such as no operator overloading and no complex number primitive.

No operator overloading is definitely a big minus for Java.


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