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

Sturla Molden sturla@molden...
Tue Jan 20 06:53:16 CST 2009

On 1/20/2009 10:38 AM, David Cournapeau wrote:

> People in Lisp or OCAML communities
> almost never code in another language, at least not as often as we do
> in python 

Which, for Common Lisp, is due to optional static typing. To some 
extent, a 'fast' Common Lisp like SBCL or CMUCL have more in common with 
Cython than Python.

But for a purely synamic language like Python, the Java VM is more 
interesting. The speed of this VM/JIT is not due to Java's static 
typing. Hotspot was originally developed for StrongTalk, a JIT compiled 
implementation of Smalltalk (a dynamic language). Sun bought the company 
who created StrongTalk to use the StrongTalk VM for Java.

In addition to Smalltalk, there are also very efficient implementations 
of Scheme (e.g. Staling, Ikarus, Bigloo, Larency). Again this proves 
that it is possible to create fast implementations of dynamic languages. 
It just has not been done yet for Python.


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