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

Paul Prescod paulp@ActiveState.com
Tue, 31 Jul 2001 03:18:48 -0700

One of the things I picked up from the Perl conference is that Perl
users *seem* (to me) to have a higher tolerance for code breakage than
Python users. (and Python users have a higher tolerance than (let's say)
Java users) Even if we put aside Perl 6, Perlers talk pretty glibly
about ripping little used features out in Perl 5.8.0 and Perl 5.10 and
so forth. 

e.g. Damian said that Autoload is going away (or pseudo hashes or
something like that). Whether or not he was right, nobody in the room
threw tomatoes as I'm sure they would if Guido tried to kill

Admittedly, I never know when I hear stuff like "tr///CU is dead"  or
"package; is dead" whether each was a feature that has been in for three
years or was added to an experimental release and removed from the next
experimental release.

I'm not criticizing the Perl community. Acceptance of change is a good
thing! But I think they should know how conservative the Python world
is. Last week there were storm troopers heading for Guidos house when he
announced that the division operator is going to change its behaviour
two or three years. That means it would take a major PR effort to
convince the Python community that even minor language changes would be
worth the benefit of sharing a VM.
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