in defense of Java, again [was: Re: Task Scheduling]

Jonathan Ellis jonathan at
Wed Jan 25 16:53:23 MST 2006

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 16:37:44 -0700, "Bryan Sant" <bryan.sant at>
> On 1/25/06, Jonathan Ellis <jonathan at> wrote:
> > But, since I'm going to do my best to never work for a large company
> > again, I don't really care too much.  The amount of functionality
> > a small group can achieve in Python is staggering.  The vast majority
> > of projects won't _need_ more than a handful of developers, with
> > the acompanying exponential increase in time lost to communication
> > impedance.
> Regardless of language you're always going to have better productivity
> per head when you have fewer people on a project.

True, but that's not what I meant: because per-developer productivity
is higher, you can tackle larger (in terms of functionality) projects
in Python and still keep teams small.

Of course, some projects will still require large teams.  I just
can't think of any that would be interesting to work on.
> Partly I feel this is why dynamic languages are praised so much.  They
> are often used for small projects that require fewer people.  The
> natural consequence is that the team is more productive (because it's
> small, not necessarily because of language X per se).

Studies of single developers show about a 2x productivity boost
for dynamic languages in general over static ones.  Clearly the size
of the team can't account for it in such cases.

It's too bad there are no apples-to-apples comparisons like this
for larger teams like this (that I know of).  But it's worth noting
that Python doesn't have the maintainability problems that some
dynamic languages have (Perl would be the poster boy here), and
scales much better in that respect.

C++ is history repeated as tragedy. Java is history repeated as farce.  --Scott McKay

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