... personal wiki, blog and notes
Bryan's Blog 2004/12/04
Python and Java
There have been a number of posts in the blogs that I follow about Python is Not Java by Phillip Eby.
It was an interesting read for me too, although for different reasons which I wont go into now (basically about difficulties for code maintenance by scientists). Anyway Ned Batchelder picked up one nice point about how java trained programmers writing python often don't exploit the power of python. Simon Willison picks up on the point of people writting getters and setters instead of relying on python properties (frankly I'd always wondered why people did that). Me, the quote I like is
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use XML". Now they have two problems. This is a different situation than in Java, because compared to Java code, XML is agile and flexible. Compared to Python code, XML is a boat anchor, a ball and chain. In Python, XML is something you use for interoperability, not your core functionality, because you simply don't need it for that. In Java, XML can be your savior ... But in Python, more often than not, code is easier to write than XML.
As an aside, following the link in Phillip Eby's page led me to Charles Miller on Regular Expressions. Given I'm thinking about wiki parsers at the moment (link), made me realise yet another benefit of blogging ... it's just like when one goes to the library to find a scientific paper that is referenced in another ... often you find a few others in the same issue/volume which you didn't know about which are really useful ...