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

Sturla Molden sturla@molden...
Tue Jan 20 16:36:30 CST 2009

> Of course you have coding rules, but you have such rules even in small C
> projects. Boost does not really having many coding rules other than naming
> conventions and boost is widely deployed. Please read the CERN ROOT
> information page for the reason they switched from Fortran to C++ (speed &
> scalability).

Actually the switched from "FORTRAN" (spelled with capitals) to C++ for
maintainability. I am not sure if that means Fortran 77 or FORTRAN IV, but
certainly not Fortran 90, 95 or 2003. The choice had just as much to do
with abundance of qualified developers as merits of the languages. There
is also a similar story of NASA, who tried to move spacecraft navigation
code from Fortran 77 to C++ in 1996, and failing miserably.

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). But ROOT
can be of general interest to scientists outside CERN as well.

Sturla Molden

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