[Python-Dev] Why did Fredrik leave the party?

Mark Lutz lutz@rmi.net
Wed, 5 Feb 2003 06:58:14 -0700

Guido wrote:
> > Generators are cool once you understand them, but they raise the bar
> > for someone new to the language.
> That all depends.  You don't have to teach generators at all in an
> introductory course -- you don't even have to teach iterators.  But
> all this has been discussed many times before here in numerous
> threads.

Not true.  I don't think people on  python-dev are in touch
with the impacts of their changes on the Python learning curve.

In every organization, there will be both advanced programmers 
and beginners.  And in every organization, there will be at least 
one advanced programmer who will discover and use the new 
cool features, and thus impose them upon everyone else.  

Trust me on this.  I've met these people; hell, I used to be one 
of these people :-).  The fact is, today, some of the most common
questions I get in Python classes have to do with new things like 
list comprehensions and generators, regardless of class makeup.

I don't have time to argue the merits of adding new features in the
first place.  But please, let's not be naive about their impact on 
the perceived simplicity of Python.  Like it or not, beginners do
need to know about new things, even if they will not be coding them.

And like it or not, Python has indeed lost much of the simplicity that
attracted some.  There's always been a dichotomy of people who want
to keep it simple, and people who want to add new features.  After
just updating Learning Python, it's pretty obvious that the latter group
has won the tug of war in recent years.  Try explaining the current 3 
flavors of division to a beginner sometime and you'll see what I mean.

--Mark Lutz  (http://www.rmi.net/~lutz)