Hype and evangelism run rampant in technology. That’s not to say there aren’t real and substantial advances, of course. One of my personal mantras is that simple things should be simple and complex should be possible. In other words, complexity shouldn’t come at the expense simplicity. (This isn’t a novel idea, just my own internal rephrasing.)¬†With that in mind, I was amused by the following observation:

apt12j$ time perl -e ‘print “Hello $ARGV[0]\n”‘ World
Hello World

real 0m0.003s
user 0m0.000s
sys 0m0.000s

apt12j$ time python -c ‘import sys; print “Hello ” + sys.argv[1]‘ World
Hello World

real 0m0.022s
user 0m0.012s
sys 0m0.008s

apt12j$ time groovy -e “println ‘Hello ‘ + args[0]” World
Hello World

real 0m1.244s
user 0m2.108s
sys 0m0.120s


This is really meant to be tongue in cheek… clearly we aspire to more than Hello World, and there’s a lot more to the overall value and usability of a language than just timing. And I’m not intending to promulgate or disparage Perl, Python, or Groovy by inclusion above, or Java, Ruby, Fortran, Lisp, or anything else by exclusion.

Instead, the point was that I was doing some investigation with Groovy and was struck by sluggish start-up time.