[Python-Dev] Interesting article: "Python Is Middleware"

Tim Peters tim.one@home.com
Tue, 7 Aug 2001 00:57:03 -0400

[From Tim Daneliuk's article]
> I worry about one thing and one thing only in the Python world.  It
> is something I have witnessed in every new technology I've ever seen.
> Python is dangerously close to becoming a victim of Feeping Creaturism -
> not so much In Fact, but rather in this community's mindset of forever
> wanting to fiddle one more feature into the language.

With the exception of Unicode, I'm hard pressed to think of any major change
in Python that wasn't discussed for years and years, most back in '92
already (incl. augmented assignments, nested scopes, liberalizing the
iteration protocol, the type/class split, unifying ints and longs, and even

I've noted before that we're fast running out of this kind of thing (meaning
big features discussed for a long time).  Perhaps a formal notion of
interface, some flavor of optional static typing, and major tweaks to the
numeric model, will still occur, but that's "about it" for semantic features
that have been discussed forever.  What else is on the horizon?  Apart from
those, even the Py-in-the-Sky PEPs are either both minor and 100% backward
compatible ("Docstring Format", "Add a Built-in Set Type", "String
Interpolation"), or likely dead on arrival (even if nobody is rude enough to
say so <wink>).

> This will Kill Python commercially if it happens.

I suppose we should take the hard lesson from Visual Basic there <wink>.

> Too many variations on the core language theme make deployment and
> management of real systems too expensive.

Unfortunately for practical guidance, how many is "too many" can't be judged
without first determining how expensive is "too expensive" -- or, I suspect,
vice versa too.  Commercial interests in my eyes are defined by tangible
commitment of resource to achieve what they want; if they hired someone
full-time to ensure Python compatibility across releases, I bet they could
get it.

jaw-flapping-won't-solve-it-ly y'rs  - tim