[Python-Dev] copy, len and the like as 'object' methods?

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Wed, 22 Aug 2001 15:46:01 -0400

> David Ascher wrote:
> >Again, I wasn't considering getting rid of old builtins.  We're going to
> >be adding new methods to all of the types anyway (since they'll derive
> >from object), so I was just suggesting that len or length be an alias
> >for __len__.

James Althoff:
> (While admittedly being an OO zealot ;-) I too would be pleased to see a
> len/length method.  And I really enjoy using the new string methods.
> Thanks for adding them!  :-)

While it will admittedly take a while, the intention of string methods
was to eventually phase out the string module.  So TOOWTDI is only
violated during the transition.

If we decide to add a len() method, we'll also have to decide to
(eventually) get rid of len(), or we'd violate TOOWTDI *permanently*.

Personally, I don't think that the "problem" this change is addressing
is worth asking everybody to change their code -- so we'd have live
with len(x) and x.len() as viable ways to ask for x's length
*forever*, violating TOOWTDI permanently.  I don't like that.

(You may disagree, but at least I have thought about it and I can
explain my motivation. :-)

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)