[Python-ideas] Fwd: doctest (and.... python3000)

Ethan Furman ethan at stoneleaf.us
Mon Feb 27 23:16:22 CET 2012

Mark Janssen wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM, Ethan Furman wrote:
>>> I should probably correct myself.  It is suiltable, just not
>>> enjoyable.  But now I know you are someone who likes all that arcana
>>> of unittest module.
>> I'm not sure about *that* -- having to exactly reproduce the output 
>> of the interpreter seems kind of arcane to me.  ;)
> Well, you're an interesting test case for a theory -- some people 
> shouldn't be coding in python...

Wow.  Talk about mixed emotions -- on the one hand I totally agree with 
you, on the other I haven't been that offended in quite some time.  ;)

> Python, as I see, is "the coder's language".  It's meant for a 
> programmers who want to write code for the sake of their art -- coding 
> for him/herself firstly (and their community) and secondly for 
> "industrial productions" -- shops that just churn out working apps 
> without a consideration for the art.

While Python is the most enjoyable language I have ever used, I strive 
for mastery and beauty in all the languages I work with.  One of 
Python's big strengths is it's simplicity, while still allowing for 
great power (with it's data structures, exception handling, metaclasses 
(okay, not so simple there ;)).

> In the latter case, tests won't be for future coders in your community, 
> but for maintaining "/la machine/"  -- the simple, logical machine in 
> your code.

I fail to see your point here with regards to doctest versus unittest. 
When I actually write the docs for my dbf module (simple Sphinx 
generated at the moment), I will have examples in it and run it through 
doctest.  However, I will still have the unit tests as the primary test 
bench for it.

As an example, for the dBase III table type there are five field types. 
  There is a test for a table with each possible combination (not 
permutation) of one to five of those field types (okay, so I'm slightly 
paranoid, too ;) -- would you really want to see that in your documentation?

> This, to me, is the primary split between those of us who still have 
> high hopes for a true Python3000 (now evolved into python4000 because of 
> release v3) and the rest....

Overall I am quite happy with Py3k.  I seriously doubt that I would be 
100% satisfied with somebody else's language simply because we are not 
the same individual and so have different preferences.  I can say I am 
at least 95% happy with Python, which is the best approval rating I have 
been able to give since Assembly.

If Python 3 is so hope-dashing, perhaps you should fork your own version?

> Accurate in your case?

That I shouldn't be using Python?  No, inaccurate.

That I am part of the bunch so disappointed with Py3k that I am yearning 
for Py4k?  No, inaccurate.


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