[Python-ideas] Modern language design survey for "assign and compare" statements

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Mon May 21 19:40:03 EDT 2018

On Mon, May 21, 2018 at 09:43:45AM -0700, Mike Miller wrote:
> To clarify there were three main criteria, and one minor.  Newer, 
> popular/becoming industry standard, and designed to address shortcomings in 
> previous generations.  Finally, the limit of my energy when already working 
> on a project.

To take your criteria in reverse order:

1. Why should the limit on *your* energy be a deciding factor? I was 
willing to spend a few hours doing a more complete sample of new 
languages. Should we ignore those because you ran out of energy? If 
anyone else wants to extend it even further, and survey more languages, 
we should welcome an even more extensive survey.

2. By definition, EVERY new language is designed to "address 
shortcomings in previous generations" of languages. If the designer 
thought previous languages were ideal, they wouldn't invent a new 

3. None of the languages you surveyed are "popular/becoming industry 
standard" according to the closest thing we have to an objective 
measure of popularity: rankings like those provided by TIOBE. If you 
don't like TIOBE's methodology, feel free to propose a different, 
neutral, ranking.

If you want a subjective opinion based on "industry buzz", then I would 
say that out of the five languages you listed, only two (Go and Swift) 
are anything close to "becoming industry standard", a tiny sample 
indeed, but nevertheless one where both languages have some form of 
assignment expressions (Go only in "if" statements, Swift everywhere).

4. What was your criteria for "newer"? I must admit I assumed it 
was languages invented since 2010, but I see Go was invented in 
2009. If your cutoff is 2009, then we ought to include Coffeescript, 
which also has assignment expressions.


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