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Dropbox Announces Their Own Open-Source Python

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  • #31
    Originally posted by quasipedia View Post
    machine cost = low. Human cost = high
    The problem is that this false statement has become a culture. It's false because machine cost is higher than human cost. This statement is true if you are building an app to run on a few machines only, but if you are developing an app for end users then you have to count the machine cost for all users. If an app is to be used by a million users, and only 0.1% of those need to upgrade their machines because of this app then you are looking at a total cost close to half a million dollars.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Pajn View Post
      No, they target completely different stuff.
      This. Python is often used for front ends, while Go is more often used as the backend.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by sarmad View Post
        The problem is that this false statement has become a culture. It's false because machine cost is higher than human cost. This statement is true if you are building an app to run on a few machines only, but if you are developing an app for end users then you have to count the machine cost for all users. If an app is to be used by a million users, and only 0.1% of those need to upgrade their machines because of this app then you are looking at a total cost close to half a million dollars.
        What makes you think the problem is with the python front-end code? They don't say that anywhere in the blog post.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by sarmad View Post
          If you are developing an app for end users then you have to count the machine cost for all users.
          Which is not the case of Dropbox, that is using python on their servers. Anything else?

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          • #35
            Originally posted by quasipedia View Post
            Which is not the case of Dropbox, that is using python on their servers. Anything else?
            The Dropbox desktop client is also written in Python.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by shaurz View Post
              The Dropbox desktop client is also written in Python.
              Yes and no. Yes from a literal point of view (the glue code written by Dropbox programmers that puts together the widget toolkit and the syncronisation is indeed in python), no from a substantial point of view: file synchronisation (which is the only functionality provided by the service, and the only "computational heavy" part of it, relying on delta uploads, i.e. hashing functions) is written in C [I believe is the standard rsync library]. So the point of python forcing end users to upgrade their machines is still moot (as a proof, Dropbox is running just fine on a Raspberry Pi).

              The bottom line is that - bar specific problem domains such as the need to process real-time large quantities of data, or the need to run on limited resources such as an embedded system - choosing a language on the basis of its performance advantages is akin to premature optimisation.

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