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Scripting languages

Anton Slepnev

Developer
What are advantages and disadvantages of scripting languages (Python, Perl, Ruby, R/S+, etc.) against C++ ?
What is their field of application as a quant tool ?
Which of them is the best for math computing, for Client-DB development, for any other development ?

What opinions and experience do you guys have on them ?
 

alain

Older and Wiser
What are advantages and disadvantages of scripting languages (Python, Perl, Ruby, R/S+, etc.) against C++ ?
What is their field of application as a quant tool ?
Which of them is the best for math computing, for Client-DB development, for any other development ?

What opinions and experience do you guys have on them ?

Scripting languages have their place but not as quant tools. Speed is very important and interpreted languages have an inherent disadvantage. We use R and Perl in our group a lot though but speed is not as important in Risk Analysis.
 
What are advantages and disadvantages of scripting languages (Python, Perl, Ruby, R/S+, etc.) against C++ ?
What is their field of application as a quant tool ?
Which of them is the best for math computing, for Client-DB development, for any other development ?

What opinions and experience do you guys have on them ?

At my work place, we use a internally developed language called Slang (which is interpreted), and most of the heavy duty stuff are done in C++. The higher level business logics (like reporting etc.) are done in this scripting language & Java. A guy in my group that left for Citadel said he uses Python & Ruby a lot for his daily quant related work...
 
Is it possible to learn S+ if my company is not buying it? Or, only R is available in that case?

if you are currently enrolled in a school, you can get a free one-year academic license of version 7.0 (with certain limitation on datasets).

R is a great (and free) tool to learn the S language syntax. That's how I started out. Once you pick up the peculiarities of S, e.g. manipulation of data as objects, using built-in function capable of running fast, intern loops in lieu of for-next loops, you can make a seamless transition to the S-Plus platform. Furthermore, I think both R and S-Plus are great tools for learning time series analysis.
 
Back to scripting languages... one thing that drives me nuts is the total lack of type-safety, and unless you have some sort of lint-type checker, you don't have the level of checking that a compiler gives you. I still cannot figure out why anyone would think its better to find a bug during runtime than during compilation, and the only workaround for the loose type-checking is to specify your strVariable nNames objJust pLike strThis.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Back to scripting languages... one thing that drives me nuts is the total lack of type-safety, and unless you have some sort of lint-type checker, you don't have the level of checking that a compiler gives you. I still cannot figure out why anyone would think its better to find a bug during runtime than during compilation, and the only workaround for the loose type-checking is to specify your strVariable nNames objJust pLike strThis.

Joe, I totally agree with you but it is hard to explain what type safety means to somebody who has done very little programming.
 

Anton Slepnev

Developer
Joe, I totally agree with you but it is hard to explain what type safety means to somebody who has done very little programming.

This thread is too specific for such people to read it i suppose..

Has anyone heard of some serious GUI/Client-DB applications/systems written in a scripting language?
Of course somebody may say that C# is surely better suited here, but nevertheless..
 

alain

Older and Wiser
This thread is too specific for such people to read it i suppose..

Has anyone heard of some serious GUI/Client-DB applications/systems written in a scripting language?

As far as I know, Quants won't be writing GUI/Client-DB apps/systems... but IT will...

When I used to work at Credit Suisse, we had a GUI system written in Tcl/Tk (a scripting language)... I don't know if that system is retired by now.
 
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