[Python-Dev] PEP 557: Data Classes

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Thu Sep 14 20:55:49 EDT 2017

On 15 September 2017 at 02:56, Mike Miller <python-dev at mgmiller.net> wrote:
> On 2017-09-12 19:09, Nick Coghlan wrote:
>> On 13 September 2017 at 02:01, Chris Barker - NOAA Federal
>> <chris.barker at noaa.gov> wrote:
>>> This really does match well with the record concept in databases, and
>>> most
>>> people are familiar with that.
>> No, most people aren't familiar with that - they only become familiar
>> with it *after* they've learned to program and learned what a database
>> is.
> Pretty sure he was talking about programmers, and they are introduced to the
> concept early.  Structs, objects with fields, random access files,
> databases, etc.  Lay-folks are familiar with "keeping records" as you
> mention, but they are not the primary customer it seems.

Python is an incredibly common first programming language, so we need
to keep folks with *zero* knowledge of programming jargon firmly in
mind when designing new features. That isn't always the most important
consideration, but it's always *a* consideration.

And, as Stefan notes in his reply, we also need to keep *misleading*
inferences in mind when we consider repurposing existing jargon for a
new use case - what seems like an obviously intuitive connection based
on our own individual experiences with a term may turn out to be
extremely counterintuitive for someone with a different experience of
the same term.

In such cases, it can make sense to look for new *semantically
neutral* terminology as the official glossary entry and API naming
scheme, and rely on documentation to indicate that this is a
realisation of a feature that goes by other names in other contexts.


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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