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usenet-nospam at seebs.net
Wed Nov 3 02:25:56 CET 2010
On 2010-11-02, Tim Harig <usernet at ilthio.net> wrote:
> This is Python's most noticable blemish outside of the community.
> Everybody knows that Python is the language that forces you to use a
> particular style of formatting; and, that is a turn-off for many people.
Honestly, I could probably live with that; the killer is the impossibility
of recovering from white space damage. I have had many things happen to
code over the years which required someone to run them through indent/cb.
> It is a big mistake that whenever the issue arises, the community
> effectively attacks anybody who might have disagreements with the tradeoffs
> made for the Python language. This tends to set people on the defensive
> and gives them a bad taste about the language as a whole.
Yes. It does not create an impression that this is an engineering tradeoff
which has been considered and understood; it creates the impression that
people are defensive enough about it that they're not able to confidently
acknowledge the shortcomings while maintaining that the tradeoff is worth
I like C. If you tell me that C's macro processor sucks, I will agree
with you. I don't have to make excuses or pretend that there's no
downsides; I can justify my preference for the language even *granting*
those downsides (and downsides aplenty are to be found).
> It would be much better if the community would simply acknowledge that
> this is a tradeoff the the language has made and one which is often
> misunderstood by many first time Python programmers. Then it is possible
> transition to Python's strengths. Don't simply ignore that there *are*
> potential downfalls to this approach.
I am fine with this tradeoff. It's not what I would have picked, but
hey, I'm not Dutch. What I'm not fine with is people telling me that
it's not a tradeoff and that all the problems are my fault.
If someone designed a protocol where a particular kind of file was required
to be sent via email, as plain text, with many lines starting "From ", and
the protocol died horribly whenever it encountered ">From " at the
beginning of a line, no amount of pointing out that the mail servers in
question were wrong would make it a good design for a protocol.
Whitespace damage is, indeed, wrong. It's a bad thing. It is an
*extremely common* bad thing, and I fundamentally don't think it was
a good choice to build a system with no redundancy against it. That
"redundant" information saves our hides on a regular basis in an
Copyright 2010, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach / usenet-nospam at seebs.net
http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
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I am not speaking for my employer, although they do rent some of my opinions.
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