[Python-Dev] Parrot -- should life imitate satire?

Paul Prescod paulp@ActiveState.com
Thu, 02 Aug 2001 09:51:02 -0700

Nathan Torkington wrote:
> ...
> I've been eyeing your 'import from the future' system of getting
> experimental features.  I'll be interested to see how this holds up.

Actually, Python doesn't usually have experimental features. "import
from future" is about introducing new features that will break code
"early". On the one hand, some people want the feature as soon as
possible. On the other, people are afraid of the code breakage (e.g.
adding a keyword in Python breaks code) and need time to adjust. The
future construct is the compromise.

Python has no real mechanism for experimental features other than
documentation, patches and so forth. I can only imagine one or two
experimental features in the history of the language, though.

> We in the Perl camp have bandied around the idea of "use perl 5.004"
> as a way to get all the behaviour of the 5.004 release.  That's a
> noble idea, but forces us to keep a lot of crap around when one of the
> goals of active development is to be able to shed obstructive missteps
> in language evolution.

Yes, Guido has rejected that idea for Python as too much effort. Imagine
the regression testing problems alone!
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