Python creator Guido van Rossum has shared his thoughts on some of those other programming languages making the rounds. He shared his views in an hour-long interview with Microsoft Principal Cloud Advocate Manager Francesca Lazzeri.
“I love languages, at least in theory. I always read language tutorials but I’m very bad at actual sort of downloading a language implementation and trying to code something because it’s almost always easier to say: ‘Oh, I already know how to do that in Python’”.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Van Rossum doesn’t have some thoughts on other languages. He says that Rust “sounds like a great language for certain things” and that it improves on C++ in that it’s much harder to bypass the checks in the compiler and solves the memory allocation problem in a “near-perfect” way.
On the Google-design language Go, Van Rossum believes that it “is probably the most Pythonic”.
Julia, a programming language that boasts features of imperative, functional, and object-oriented programming also receives a special mention from Van Rossum. He notes that Julia is an interesting take on something Python-like but when you realise the indexing is one-based and ranges are inclusive instead of exclusive “you think nobody should ever try to code in Julia and in Python on the same day”.
He goes on by saying that his understanding is that Julia is much more of a niche language and that “if you’re in that niche, it is superior because the compiler sort of optimises your code for you in a way that Python probably never will ”.
However, Van Rossum also commented that Julia is much more limited in other areas and wouldn’t expect anybody to ever write a web server in Julia and “get a lot of mileage out of it”.
Van Rossum was hired by Microsoft last November after a stint at Dropbox. He originally intended to hang up his keyboard after Dropbox but “got bored sitting at home while retired” and so applied to join Microsoft where he now serves as a distinguished engineer.