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

Aroldo Souza-Leite asouzaleite at gmx.de
Wed Apr 13 15:48:40 CEST 2005

Hi Martijn,

having just *imported this*, I suddenly remember that you owe me a
sonnet - the sonnet form being arguably the most pythonic of all
established European verse forms. I beg your leave to kindly remind you
that last year in Göteborg you promised to write the next one of the
"Sonnets from Pythia", after Steve Alexander's "A Common Gateway" (which
by the way has already been published by the Springer Verlag as the main
part of some sort of sofware book now I can't remember what it is about,
googable by "ISBN 3540223592"). 
I'm sending a copy of this mail to the EuroPython list because the
project "Sonnets from Pythia" happens to be an offical EuroPython
cultural project I am coordinating, approved on last year's conference
in the presence of both The Benevolent Dictator and The Pope by
unanimous public acclamation. As a trained sonnet writer, I can offer
you (or any further volonteers) my humble services to coach you in
writing your sonnet in pythonically impeccable iambic pentameters - but
I suspect you won't need much help there. Anyway, we can go through the
technical details on our private mail channel from now on.



Am Mittwoch, den 13.04.2005, 12:54 +0200 schrieb Martijn Faassen:
> Dario Lopez-Kästen wrote:
> > Martijn Faassen wrote:
> > 
> >> Others already pointed you to 'import this'.
> > 
> > I think I am very thickheaded - I don't get the 'import this' thing. 
> > sorry :-)
> Start up the Python prompt, and type 'import this'. Then see what happens.
> [snip]
> > I believe, if I understand you correctly, that something is Pythonic 
> > when it has a sense of quality, simplicity, clarity and elegance about it.
> Though these things are subjective as well, so yes, these things, the 
> Python idiomatic way (which itself is an evolving concept).
> > This is of course not only limited to python, but I get the point that 
> > i.e. Zope does not always fit the shoe, at least not from some 
> > perspectives.
> Zope 2 definitely doesn't always fit that shoe, though (with effort) it 
> is possible to write reasonably modern "Pythonic" code that still fits 
> within the Zope framework. Mostly the trick is not to use the framework 
> but to write plain Python code when you can get away with it. I think I 
> can do that, but it is the result of a lot of experience and an 
> experienced Python programmer new to Zope 2 will not know how to do it.
> In Zope 3, a lot of effort was taken to allow the integration of 
> Pythonic code. Zope 3's codebase itself is also a lot more modern 
> Python, so could qualify as "Pythonic" as well. Unfortunately turn-offs 
> for Python developers new to Zope 3 are ZCML and the sheer magnitude of 
> the framework and the amount of new concepts involved. I believe 
> something like ZCML is necessary, but it being an XML glue language, 
> it's automatically not perceived as very Pythonic at first impression. 
> The magnitude of the framework and new concepts involved is, at least in 
> part, a problem for any large framework, not just Zope.
> Note that Five is an attempt to bring some of the 'increased 
> Pythonicness' (the ability to "just write Python code" without worrying 
> about lots of Zope specific things) from Zope 3 to Zope 2.
> > I guess this is true of all things; in fact I know it is - "pythonicity" 
> > is a pattern or sorts, or an attitude perhaps, and I guess we all use it 
> > and judge things by it in one way or another.
> > 
> > Wether or not you view something as being pythonic or not will, like 
> > Martinj in a way suggested, depend on the particular point of view you 
> > have or take.
> Yes. "this is (not) Pythonic" is therefore of limited use in any 
> argument if the other guy doesn't agree, but quite important if the 
> other guy *does* agree. :)
> > Thanks Magnus and Martinj.
> Martijn; an interesting displacement of the 'j' there. :)
> Regards,
> Martijn
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Aroldo Souza-Leite <asouzaleite at gmx.de>
mitcon GmbH

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