Re: [EuroPython] What the heck does "pythonic" mean?

Magnus Lycka magnus at
Tue Apr 12 01:52:58 CEST 2005

> How do you judge if something is "pythonic" or not?

Typing "import this" at the python prompt is a good beginning.

I'm sure others can explain this better, but using Zope is
certainly a very different experience than "normal" Python

It's always different to work with a "plain" programming
environment where you "own main()", where you write the code
which is in charge, and use various libraries to handle various
aspects of your problem, compared to working with a framework
such as Zope.

Every framworks imposes an overhead and its own paradigm, but
I think Zope might initially feel more strange to Python
programmers than other frameworks, since it takes quite a while
before you even get close to coding Python in it... With 
something like Twisted, you are also inside the bounds of a
framework, and you have to play by its rules, but at least you
are writing Python code that you save as normal text files from
the very start. You are not clicking around in some odd HTML
interface filling in various forms...

Besides "The Zen of Python", I think most Python programmers
live more or less in accordance with the Unix Philosophy. I
can recommend Mike Gancarz' book The UNIX Philosophy, or you
can look at or for some clues.
Python goes far beyond pipes, but trying to keep things small
and simple, avoiding big monolithic programs and keeping data
and code as text files are examples of things that seem Pythonic
to me, but is violated by Zope.

Perhaps a "Spirit of Python" talk would be useful at the conference.

Magnus Lycka, Thinkware AB  mailto:magnus at

More information about the EuroPython mailing list