[Python-ideas] Non-English names in the turtle module.

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Fri Sep 4 04:45:53 CEST 2015

On Fri, Sep 04, 2015 at 11:05:51AM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> Al Sweigart writes:
>  > The idea for putting these modules on PyPI is interesting. My only
>  > hesitation is I don't want "but it's already on PyPI" as an excuse
>  > not to include these changes into the standard library turtle
>  > module.
> Exactly backwards, as the first objection is going to be "if it could
> be on PyPI but isn't, there's no evidence it's ready for the stdlib."

*cough typing cough*

The turtle module has been in Python for many, many years. This proposal 
doesn't change the functionality, it merely offers a localised API to 
the same functionality. A bunch of alternate names, nothing more.

I would argue that if you consider the user-base of turtle, putting it 
on PyPI is a waste of time:

- Beginners aren't going to know to "pip install whatever". Some of us 
here seem to think that pip is the answer to everything, but if you look 
on the python-list mailing list, you will see plenty of evidence that 
people have trouble using pip.

- Schools may have policies against the installation of unapproved 
software on their desktops, and getting approval to "pip install *" may 
be difficult, time-consuming or outright impossible. If they are using 
Python, we know they have approval to use what is in the standard 
library. Everything else is, at best, a theorectical possibility.

One argument against this proposal is that Python is not really designed 
as a kid-friendly learning language, and we should just abandon that 
space to languages that do it better, like Scratch. I'd hate to see that 
argument win, but given our limited resources perhaps we should know 
when we're beaten. Compared to what Scratch can do, turtle graphics are 
so very 1970s.

But if we think that there is still a place in the Python infrastructure 
for turtle graphics, then I'm +1 on localising the turtle module.


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