[Python-ideas] Python 3000 TIOBE -3%

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Thu Feb 9 19:44:42 CET 2012

On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 10:37 AM, Masklinn <masklinn at masklinn.net> wrote:

> On 2012-02-09, at 19:26 , Guido van Rossum wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM, Masklinn <masklinn at masklinn.net> wrote:
> >> On 2012-02-09, at 19:03 , Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> >>> The choice of which garbage collection implementation (ref counting is
> >> garbage collection) is a quality of implementation detail, not a
> language
> >> feature.
> >>
> >> That's debatable, it's an implementation detail with very different
> >> semantics which tends to leak out into usage patterns of the language
> (as
> >> it did with CPython, which basically did not get fixed in the community
> >> until Pypy started ascending),
> >
> > I think it was actually Jython that first sensitized the community to
> this
> > issue.
> >
> The first one was Jython yes, of course, but I did not see the "movement"
> gain much prominence before Pypy started looking like a serious CPython
> alternative, before that there were a few voices lost in the desert.

I guess everyone has a different perspective.

>> especially when the language does not provide "better" ways to handle
>> things (as Python finally did by adding context managers in 2.5).
>> So theoretically, automatic refcounting is a detail, but practically it
>> influences language usage differently than most other GC techniques (when
>> it'd the only GC strategy in the language anyway)
> Are there still Python idioms/patterns/recipes around that depend on
> refcounting?

 There shouldn't be, but I'm not going to rule out reliance on automatic
> resource cleanup just yet, I'm sure there are still significant pieces
> of code using those in the wild.

I am guessing in part that's a function of resistance to change, and in
part it means PyPy hasn't gotten enough mindshare yet. (Raise your hand if
you have PyPy installed on one of your systems. Raise your hand if you use
it. Raise your hand if you are a PyPy contributor. :-)

Anyway, the refcounting objection seems the least important one. The more
important trolls to fight are "static typing is always better" and "the GIL
makes Python multicore-unfriendly".

TBH, I see some movement in the static typing discussion, evidence that the
static typing zealots are considering a hybrid approach (e.g. C# dynamic,
and the optional static type checks in Dart).

--Guido van Rossum (python.org/~guido)
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