Tue, 29 Jun 2010
I had always the impression that Python's capabilities were more-or-less similar to Perl's (minus CPAN, DBI, and minus one-liners). At least this is what Python's proponents are trying to make us believe. Apparently, it is not the case. They are struggling to make the Python interpreter really multithreaded, while I have been runing threaded computations in Perl for at least two or three years now.
Threads in Perl are really simple, and the design - shared nothing unless explicitly declared as such - really helps to write clean and fast programs. Last week I did a massive text-processing application (many individual documents, but summing up the results) on our 24-core server, and I have observed almost linear scaling with increased number of CPUs used.
The similar case is with Python and UTF-8. Python of course now supports it, but its ease-of-use is still far behind Perl. Another case is FreeBSD: for a long time they have tried to make us believe they are faster and more scalable than Linux (their famous ftp.cdrom.com). But apparently it is not the case and probably never has been, at least in terms of SMP support.
I wonder why is it so easy to believe other people's claims, especially when they are experts in a given subject (Python, FreeBSD, etc.).