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I can't recommend pyroot highly enough. All the benefits of python while removing some of the worst usability problems in root. Compiling with cython meshes well, as it tends to provide the biggest performance gains for the types of tasks people frequently need to perform (like checking lots of conditionals).

Advice to people starting with ROOT who have lots of data to process: if at all possible dont mess with multithreading. Make a single threaded process that grabs only the data needed and makes its own output file. Then combine the outputs with the hadd tool. You can run the single threaded program en masse with HTcondor or a similar scheme and it 'just works' while remaining scalable.

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