[Python-Dev] PEP 326 now online

Michael Chermside mcherm at mcherm.com
Mon Jan 5 11:52:13 EST 2004

Josiah Carlson writes:
> I believe I've addressed the majority of concerns had for the All
> (previously Some) concept and object (the PEP editor seems to agree),
> and the PEP has been posted as PEP 326.
> Give it a look: http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0326.html
> As always, comments, questions, and suggestions are always appreciated.

Thanks Josiah, it looks to me like you did a good job of boiling things
down to a single, specific proposal and collecting and clearly stating
the arguments in favor. That's what PEP writing is all about.

Unfortunately, after reading PEP 326, I find myself convinced that it
is NOT a good idea, and I would encourage the BDFL to reject the PEP.

My reasons are quite simple:
  (1) As the PEP demonstrates, creating a value that sorts larger
      than any other is extremely trivial.
  (2) The PEP's motivation succesfully demonstrates that having a
      "largest" value for pre-population or sentinal purposes is
      useful for certain algorithms. But it provides NO reason why
      each author of such an algorithm could not simply create such
      an "All" object themselves.
  (3) The bar is quite high for adding new built-ins. This PEP, for
      instance, either break or render quite confusing any program
      which used the identifier "All".

So, unless someone shows me a convincing argument for why this is
more useful when used as a built-in constant rather than being coded
by each user, I think this PEP should not be included in Python.

Please feel free to include this viewpoint in the "Dissenting Opinion"
section of the PEP.

-- Michael Chermside

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