[Python-au] Re: General question about Python use

Jack Andrews effbiae@yahoo.com
Wed, 12 Dec 2001 01:44:29 -0800 (PST)

--- Reinhold wrote:
> I am new to this list. I have a general question, which I would like
> to put to the list subscribers.
> I am a software developer (C/C++/Delphi, Unix/NT), who recently
> "discovered" Python's many uses.
> I am curious to find out how many of you use Python commercially
> in your jobs and how many use it for private use only?

I use it commercially, in my job and privately.  Your question 
prompts me to tell a story about Python in the workplace.

As a quick overview, a company that I work for is STR (.com.au).
STR develops a proprietary DBMS for statistical use.  STR's main 
customers are census bureaus around the world.  My team was
responsible for a product which would suck data out of their Data 
Warehouses (Oracle, Sybase, SAS etc.) and pump it into our DBMS.
We used JDBC and JPython (now known as jython) to do the work.  

IMnsHO, the pump-sucker (now why didn't I think of that name
2 years ago!!!?? :) was a great success.  There were initial 
concerns about efficiency, but there was no efficiency problem
in the end.  The pump-sucker only ever had a few bugs that we
hadn't discovered before we shipped it -- it was a good project.

That was all well and good.  I left STR after the challenge had
gone and went to work for Ericsson to load balance web servers
in the 'Lodbroker' business.  They used Erlang (a functional/
process oriented language) and C.  That was nice for 6mths or
so until Ericsson started laying off staff.  Now the project is
dead.  (but I digress) -- see lodbroker.com.

So, being a tech-wreck refugee, I returned to STR where my 
services were more than welcome.  I return to find that the
guy who took over the project hates python, thinks everything
is crap, and is planning to have the software re-written in

So to answer your question... what was your question again ;)
Anyway -- maybe there's a universal pattern there.  You write
a good product and then they come and write it in more 
'acceptable'  languages.  I heard some guy from Yahoo complaining 
about the 'horrible' Lisp code in the Yahoo shopping cart app and 
how he was rewriting it in C++ or something.  Maybe it's 
inevitable that software be reduced to C :)

Sorry -- to bring the tone of my email up a bit, Python is cool.
There, I said it.  I've just discovered wxPython -- python just
get's better the more I use it.  

> I am trying to determine if Python has any visibility in IT shops
> in this country, specifically Melbourne and how widespread its use

Yeah -- it would be interesting if there were a survey... 
actually, there was a survey talked about on slashdot recently...
<does a quick search> nope -- can't find it... it was quite 
extensive and had an on-line form for you to say which languages
you use .


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