Re: official support for more scripting languages in gnome needed

On Sun, 18 Mar 2001, Ben Ford wrote:

> MS BASIC --> QBASIC --> Visual Basic -- >VBS --> "I Love You"
> And the viruses spread because it is very difficult to actually disable VB
> scripting.  (kinda like requiring perl . . .  )

As James pointed out, python includes a reduced environment that ensures
that bad code cannot do anything more than chew cpu time(and that is
controllable through other utils.).

If you are worried about security, and memory and cpu performance then I
will argue that python(and to a lesser extent, Perl) provide a better
system than C:

Firstly, security - python is more secure than C because it doesn't allow
buffer overruns due to its handling of strings as a first class type.  It
is also less likely to be susceptible to side channel attacks because it
doesn't interpret strings as side effects.  python programs are shorter
and are thus easier to analyse and test.

Secondly, memory - it has been brought up before, and is worth
re-iterating.  interpreted languages often use less memory because of the
higher level constructs available, and because more code is shared between

Thirdly, cpu time - programs such as gftp spent 99% or more time waiting
for input.  the data is then handled by the underlying unix operating
system and all the python program does is manage the relationships between
data streams.

Finally, development time is reduced because rather than wade through
large amounts of code, the developer can concentrate on the logic of the
program they are designing.  If any subportion turns out to be slow, then
that bit can be re-written in C for speed.  If this isn't enough, the
developer has an idea of what the C implementation should actually do and
can make a better implementation than if they had to make their prototype
in C.


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