Language "efficiency"

Doghouse – Languages

Article from Issue 265/2022
Author(s):

The efficiency alone of a programming language doesn't show the full picture.

Last month I discussed the importance of portability across cloud architectures, which allows you to move your application and data if the costs of a particular vendor become too high or that cloud vendor goes bankrupt.

This month's article was inspired by a conversation on LinkedIn about a whitepaper that was published comparing the efficiency of various languages, with the claim (by the paper) that Python was very inefficient in execution as opposed to languages like C and C++. Various people made comments ranging from "Python programmers are killing the planet" to "What is a language like Python good for?"

First of all, to point to a language and say offhand that it is "inefficient" is not really useful. A language is made up of syntax and semantics to convert what humans code into the binary ones and zeros (called machine code) that the computer can follow, usually by a program known either as a compiler or interpreter.

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