COMPARING PYTHON OBJECT ORIENTED CODE WITH JAVA
Programmers are creatures of habit, and we tend to stick with established language features unless we have some compelling reason to embrace new ones. Object-oriented (OO) features are a good example of this issue. PHP programmers consider PHP’s OO features to be a good idea—but use them sparingly, if at all. The story is similar to many Python programmers, who prefer not to use Python’s OO features.
Java sits at the other end of the language spectrum: It’s an OO language, so there’s no getting away from classes when you use Java. Despite Java’s OO pedigree, however, a lot of Java code is still written in a procedural manner.
Do you avoid Python OO features, preferring the procedural/functional model? That tendency is common in languages such as PHP, where many programmers opt not to use OO features. But you might be missing an important opportunity! Java requires an OO approach, giving you the advantages of that model in every line of code you write. Stephen B. Morris points out the advantages of using Python’s OO features in a manner similar to Java’s.
So how do these two languages stack up? Let’s break it down by category.
Although neither Java nor Python is especially suited to high-performance computing, when performance matters, Java has the edge by platform and by design. Although some Python implementations, such as PyPy, are fine-tuned for performance, raw portable performance is not where Python shines. A lot of java efficiency comes from optimizations to virtual machine execution.
Java‘s history in the enterprise and its slightly more verbose coding style mean that java legacy systems are typically larger and more numerous than python’s.
Organisations may be surprised to find out how many battle-tested python scripts act as glue code holding their IT infrastructure together.
Python has less of the legacy problem.
Both Java and Python enjoy a seemingly endless supply of open-source libraries populated by code from individuals and companies who have solved common and uncommon problems, and who are happy to share so others can take advantage of their solutions. Indeed, both languages have benefited from—and been shaped by—online forums and open-source development.
Java and Python are both in it for the long haul. Along with their development communities, they’ve evolved and adapted since the 1990s, finding new niches and replacing other languages—sometimes competing in the same space. Both languages are associated with openness, so companies, teams, and developers are best keeping an open mind when it comes to making a decision.
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