[Python-Dev] Definining properties - a use case for class decorators?

Phillip J. Eby pje at telecommunity.com
Tue Oct 18 06:35:19 CEST 2005

At 08:46 PM 10/17/2005 -0700, Guido van Rossum wrote:
>Now, if I were to follow Paul Graham's recommendations strictly
>(http://www.paulgraham.com/diff.html), point 7 saysthat Python should
>have a symbol type. I've always maintained that this is unnecessary
>and that we can just as well use regular strings.

Well, unless you're going to also do #8 ("a notation for code"), I'd agree.  :)

But then again, Graham also lists #6 ("programs composed of expressions"), 
and even though I'm often tempted by the desire to write something as a big 
expression, the truth is that most people's brains (mine included) just 
don't have enough stack space for it.  The people that have that much 
mental stack space can already write lambda+listcomp atrocities for the 
rest of us to boggle at.  :)

Logix (http://livelogix.net/logix/) basically adds everything on Graham's 
list to Python, and then compiles it to Python bytecode.  But the result is 
something that still doesn't seem very Pythonic to me.

Of course, with good restraint, it seems to me that Logix allows some very 
tasteful language extensions (John Landahl created a nice syntax sugar for 
generic functions with it), but making full-tilt use of Graham's 9 features 
seems to result in a very Lisp-like experience, even without the parentheses.

At the same time, I would note that Ruby does seem to have an edge on 
Python in terms of ability to create "little languages" of the sort that 
Logix also excels at.  Compare SCons (Python) with Rakefiles (Ruby), for 
example, or SQLObject (Python) to Rails' ActiveRecord.  In each case, the 
Python DSL syntax is okay, but Ruby's is better.  Even PEP 340 in its 
heydey wasn't going to improve on it much, because Ruby DSL's benefit 
mainly from being able to pass the blocks to functions which could then 
hold on to them for later use.  (Also, in an ironic twist, Ruby requires 
fewer parentheses than Python for such operations, so the invocation looks 
more like user-defined syntax.)

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