[Edu-sig] quantum instance

Kirby Urner urnerk at qwest.net
Mon Sep 19 18:26:28 CEST 2005

> >Perhaps my version of Python is evolving at a faster rate, and in 
> >different directions, than you necessarily need in your version, 
> >for what you're trying to do.  What's the harm in that, as long 
> >as your code still runs?
> >
> >Kirby

> There is enormous potential harm in this.  The problem is that
> programming is not an individual activity.  When new features make
> code harder to read, or harder to understand, then readers are
> penalised at the expense of writers.  When bugs are easier to make,
> or harder to detect when reading code, then everybody suffers.

Yes, that's true of course.  You make a lot of good points.

In the case of property syntax, I think as you do, that it adds clarity to
the code.  It also encourages a practice Arthur doesn't like, and I have no
problem with that, as I don't think Arthur's distrust is well founded in
this case.

But it *is* possible for a language to make wrong turns, and even though old
code still runs, the new features encourage a lot of bad habits and in
general contribute to the unreadability of the code.  Python *could* take
these turns for the worse.  Feature creep/bloat might eat away from its
integrity from within.

I was being too glib.

And again, I have no problem encouraging the use of attribute syntax to
invoke methods if that's what makes an API easier to use and maintain.  

We saw how that works in VPython (C++/color), how it works in a triangle,
how it might work in any number of not-that-unusual circumstances.  Arthur
thinks maybe this practice lacks integrity but I think he's just projecting
from some other knowledge domain he's been exposed to.  I refuse to be
swayed by his sense of aesthetics in this case.


More information about the Edu-sig mailing list