[Python-ideas] Decorator syntax restriction

Mike Meyer mwm-keyword-python.b4bdba at mired.org
Mon Sep 7 09:05:32 CEST 2009

This appears to be veering way off topic...

Except we're looking at what makes an idea "good" in python terms,
vs. what makes them "not good". Basically, trying to define
"pythonic". I don't know that that can be done, but there seem to be
some broad points that can be agreed on....

>  > >> Honestly, why do some people set for themselves the goal of "let's
>  > >> have as few characters in a source file as possible"?
> Mostly the ones who show up on Python lists don't have such a goal.
> They just want the ache in their hands and arms to go away, one
> unnecessary character at a time.
>  > > Paul Graham (generally a very sharp guy) summarizes most of the
>  > > reasons in http://www.paulgraham.com/power.html.
>  > 
>  > Thanks, this answers my question why people think this way. Although
>  > I'm still totally convinced that guys like Paul Graham, or anybody
>  > else who believes in shorter code, are misguided.
>  > 
>  > > I provide my attempt at a counterargument in
>  > > http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/papers/readability.html.

I think my choice of "counterargument" here is a bit off. It's not all
that argumentative.

>  > Yep, I more-or-less agree with you.
> But Paul Graham does, too, AFAICS.
> ISTM that what Paul G. doesn't get is that Paul P.'s epigram is more
> along the lines of Emerson's epigram.  To put it in the same style, "A
> bogus succinctness is the hobgoblin of L2-cache-deprived minds (and
> RSI-hobbled wrists)."  To me, the argument on "mired" seems quite
> complementary to the argument Graham makes, in that it shows how
> Python actually is succinct in the sense that Graham proposes, despite
> not minimizing character, token, or line counts.

What I was attempting to do was point out that succinctness for the
sake of succinctness isn't necessarily a good thing. Python indeed
tries to be succinct, but balances that against the need for the
results to still be readable. I'd say that the mired.org document
supplements what Paul G. had to say rather than complements it, as the
mired.org document discusses areas where readability matters, which
Paul G. ignored.

Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org>		http://www.mired.org/consulting.html
Independent Network/Unix/Perforce consultant, email for more information.

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