[Python-Dev] defaultdict proposal round three

Raymond Hettinger python at rcn.com
Tue Feb 21 19:53:24 CET 2006

>> > Just one more thing -- have you made a final decision
>> > about the name yet? I'd still prefer something like
>> > 'autodict', because to me 'defaultdict' suggests
>> autodict is shorter and sharper and I prefer it, too: +1
> Apart from it somehow hashing to the same place as "autodidact" in my
> brain :), I don't like it as much.; someone who doesn't already know
> what it is doesn't have a clue what an "automatic dictionary" would
> offer compared to a regular one. IMO "default" conveys just enough of
> a hint that something is being defaulted. A name long enough to convey
> all the details of why, when, and it defaults wouldn't be practical.
> (Look up the history of botanical names under Linnaeus for a simile.)

I'm with Guido on this one.  The word default is closely associated with what 
makes this different from regular dictionaries and it is closely associated with 
the name of the attribute, default_factory.  Also, the word has a history of 
parallel use in the context of dict.get().

The word "auto" on the other hand is associated with nothing.  You might as well 
argue to call it magicdictionary because "magic" has two letters less than 
"default" ;-)


More information about the Python-Dev mailing list