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

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Wed, 22 Aug 2001 22:29:35 -0400

> OO is merely accidental. The real goal is to be more consistent. Python
> is a language that uses methods for polymorphism so consistency pushes
> towards methods. If Python were Scheme and had an OO appendage in the
> middle of its standard library I'd dislike that too. 
> The only reason Perlers come into the picture is because they are
> pointing out that we claim to be consistent but in this case are not.
> And the only reason any of us care about consistency is because
> inconsistency has a cost in education and memorization...and according
> to Greg Wilson he's seen it first-hand in this case. (I personally had
> more experience with confusion over string functions instead of string
> methods)
> > Any change like this has a *huge* cost to the community (just reread
> > the division thread).
> Division is a special case. There is a big difference between
> re-purposing existing syntax and adding new methods to existing objects.
> If one is clearly the "new, better" way and the other is historical,
> then the books document the new way and most users eventually forget
> that the old way even exists. e.g. string exceptions, string.functions,
> UserDict (after type-class), regex, etc.

I see nothing that you didn't say before.  Nothing to sway me to set
the wheels in motion to make this particular change.  My position
remains "it ain't broken, so don't fix it."

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