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From: tim_one at (Tim Peters)
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 1999 06:26:17 GMT
Subject: disenchanted java user mumbles newbie questions
In-Reply-To: <>
References: <>
Message-ID: <000101be7d9a$e1ae88a0$879e2299@tim>
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[Alex Rice]
> 1) In the Python 1.5 Tutorial, sec. 9.2 "Python Scopes and Name Spaces"
> there is the following passage:
> ...
> -- however, the language definition is evolving towards static name
> resolution, at ``compile'' time, so don't rely on dynamic name
> resolution!
> ...
> Where can I read more about this move towards for compile time, static
> name resolution and the reasons for it.
Best I can suggest is scouring years' worth of DejaNews. Most of it is
summarized in early postings to the Python Types-SIG, though
(, and follow the SIGS link at the top ...).
"The reasons" are the same as everyone else's: a mix of efficiency and
compile-time-checked type safety. I'd say the Python thrust these days may
be more toward adding *optional* type decls, though. OTOH, nothing has
changed in this area of Python for > 5 years, so don't panic prematurely
> For some reason I was envisioning Python as being less like Java and
> more like Objective-C or Smalltalk in terms of dynamic binding.
Yes, it is. It's extreme, though. For example, in
def sumlen(a, b, c):
return len(a) + len(b) + len(c)
Python can't assume that "len" refers to the builtin function "len", or even
that all three instances of "len" refer to the same thing within a single
call (let alone across calls). As to what "+" may mean here, it's even
hairier. In effect, the current semantics require that Python look up every
non-local name and access path from scratch every time it (dynamically) hits
This leads to some pretty disgusting convolutions for speeding "inner
loops", in support of a generality that's wonderful to have but actually
*needed* by very little code. Because of a professional background in
compiler optimization, I'm supposed to be appalled by this <wink>.
> 2) Which reminds me: does anyone have a URL for that Ousterhut (sp?)
> article at Sunlabs about Scripting languages and why scripting rulz and
> where he has a taxonomy of programming languages along 2 dimensions?
> Lost that bookmark and cannot find it again.
It's one of the White Papers at:
> 3) What's the Python equivalent of depends.exe? --something to find what
> modules your script is depending upon?
Suggest searching and DejaNews and Starship for "freeze" and
> It seems like one would be able to create a very slim distribution if one
> needed an .exe, couple of .dll only a handful of .py files.
Why do I suspect you're a Windows programmer <wink>? The most advanced
Python distribution system for Win32 is likely Gordon McMillan's, available
for free at
May also want to visit the Python DistUtils SIG.
> A Java+Swing application can be 1-2 MB not including the VM! bloat--ed.
Doubt you're going to get off much cheaper with Python + Tcl/Tk, although it
includes two complete language implementations.
> What's a typical size of a bare-bones Python distribution?
Download one, unpack it, and do "dir" <wink>.
soon-even-light-bulbs-will-have-20Gb-hard-drives-ly y'rs - tim