Python vs. Perl vs. C++

R. Anders Schneiderman (
2 May 1994 19:31:22 GMT

I am trying to automate a lot of the gopher and www maintenance
I've been doing, and I'm trying to decide what tools to use. At home,
I've been playing with Smalltalk on my Mac (our office uses a unix
machine), and I'm finding I really love object-oriented programming,
so I'm interested in using Python at work. However, my boss is nervous
because he's never heard of it and neither has anyone he knows (except
me). So, can anyone tell me:

1) How fast has Python been spreading? Who uses it? How difficult is
it to hire a programmer who knows it (in case I drop dead :) or leave)?

2) How much of advantage does it provide over Perl or C++? How much
faster can you write a moderately complex application, and how much
eaiser it is to maintain? The Smalltalkers I know have been able to crank
out applications in half to a quarter of the time it would take them in C,
and now that they're reusing huge amts of code, they're getting even
better returns. Does anyone have any hard numbers or personal stories
I could use? Also, is someone is familiar with object-oriented approaches
and the vaguaries of UNIX, how long should it take for them to learn
Python? What's the learning curve like?

Anders Schneiderman
Center for Community Economic Research
U.C. Berkeley

P.S. I already checked out the FAQ, which was useful but didn't really
give me enough ammo.