language choice of alfs

Roger Merchberger zmerch at
Sun Dec 19 10:47:13 PST 2004

Rumor has it that Jeremy Huntwork may have mentioned these words:

>Thank you, Hui, this is much more what I was after. Well using Python or 
>Ruby would allow me to help with the coding ;) (if that's a good thing :P)

As could I. I started learning C on my old 2-drive Tandy CoCo 2 running 
OS-9 - and for me, the compile time & coding time (not to mention 
application size) was slower than Assembly, so I never really got around to 
committing it to memory.

Since then, languages like Perl and now Python have since taken precedence 
due to their speedy scripting times, and most of the programs that I build 
rarely *need* to be speed-demons.

Between the two listed above, I prefer Python - I can actually code in it 
faster, and I find it easier to understand others' code as well, allowing 
me to more easily add/modify features to programs I didn't write. Python, 
IMHO, is also more (and more easily) extensible, I wrote a simple 
client/server pair in Python in a couple of hours, having *never* 
programmed sockets in the past.

I have one question as well, and as a lurker I realize my opinion means 
little, and knowing almost nothing WRT the inner workings of nALFS this 
question is meant to inspire a bit'o'thinking by those in the know:

Does nALFS in itself actually use much processing time of it's own -- 
enough to warrant coding in C versus Python/Perl? If an LFS build takes 8 
hours 20 minutes vs. 8 hours 10 minutes due to overhead of a scripting 
language, but takes 8 months to finalize instead of 3 -- is it worth it? Or 
are some of the requisite tools necessary to complete the project 
nonexistant in the scripting langauges, making this point moot?

One of my favorite quotes of DJB: "Profile, don't speculate." Again, I 
certainly can't provide any profiling, so I prefer not to speculate. But 
maybe the discussion could provide more of an insight... ;-)

Roger "Merch" Merchberger

Roger "Merch" Merchberger   | A new truth in advertising slogan
sysadmin, Iceberg Computers | for MicroSoft: "We're not the oxy...
zmerch at          |                oxymoron!"

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