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

Carl Smith carl.input at gmail.com
Tue May 22 04:04:56 EDT 2018

I thought this thread did a good job of establishing that looking at other
is not going to help with introducing assignment expressions into Python.
It was still
interesting to read.

If we can't copy from other languages (or even agree on *which* languages
to copy),
Python will have to do something novel or give up on this.

I thought, if the thread's dead, it'd be nice to do a bit of bike-shedding
on the end,
but there was no appetite for that.

I'm not the most sensitive guy, and don't really have a sense of how my
posts are
being received, but would appreciate being told if my contribution isn't


-- Carl Smith
carl.input at gmail.com

On 22 May 2018 at 02:58, Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, May 22, 2018 at 11:45 AM, Brendan Barnwell
> <brenbarn at brenbarn.net> wrote:
> > On 2018-05-21 12:11, Chris Angelico wrote:
> >>
> >> Much more useful would be to look at languages that (a) work in a
> >> field where programmers have ample freedom to choose between
> >> languages, and (b) have been around long enough to actually
> >> demonstrate that people want to use them. Look through the Stack
> >> Overflow Developer Survey's report on languages:
> >>
> >>
> >> https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2018/
> #most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted
> >>
> >> A "Wanted" language is one that many developers say "I don't currently
> >> use, but I would like to". (It may also be a language that has
> >> murdered semicolons. I believe the bounty on JavaScript's head is
> >> quite high now.) Go through that list and you'll get an idea of what
> >> people wish they could use; then toss out anything that hasn't been
> >> around for at least 10 years, because there's a tendency for new
> >> technologies to be over-represented in a "Wanted" listing (partly
> >> because fewer programmers already know them, and partly because people
> >> want to try the latest toys). That may give you a better list of
> >> languages to compare against.
> >
> >
> >         I'd say that also has limited usefulness.  The problem is that
> > people may "want" to learn a language for many reasons, and "the language
> > made good design choices" is only one such reason.  A lot of people may
> want
> > to use JavaScript because it's hip or in demand or because they can (or
> > think they can) make money with it.  But I'm not so interested in that.
> > What interests me is: what are the languages that people specifically
> > believe are superior to other languages *in design*?  (Even better would
> be
> > what are the languages that actually ARE superior, in some reasonably
> > nonsubjective, definable, way, but we have even less data on that.)
> >
> What you want is virtually impossible to obtain, so we go for whatever
> approximations we can actually get hold of.
> There are a few reasons someone might want to use a language. One is
> "I hate this language but it'll earn me money", yes, but the way the
> Stack Overflow survey is worded, those ones won't come up. IIRC the
> wording is "which languages do you desire to be using next year",
> after removing the ones for which you also said that you're using them
> now. So there are a good few reasons that you might wish you could be
> using a language:
> 1) You believe it's a good language, worth using, but just have never
> gotten around to starting with it
> 2) You think it's really fun and awesome, and wish your employer would
> let you use that instead of what you currently use
> 3) It represents a particular coding arena that you want to get into
> (eg you want to get into iOS development, so you pick "Swift")
> 4) It's an absolutely awesome language and you have plans to learn it,
> but haven't executed on them yet
> 5) It's a new language, and you want the shinies
> 6) Etc, etc, etc.
> Generally speaking, for a language to show up in the "Most Wanted", a
> lot of developers have to think it's something worth knowing. After
> cutting out the youngest languages (which I defined as "released
> within the last ten years") to remove their overrepresentation, you're
> left with languages that, in the opinions of people who don't yet
> program in them, are worth learning. That's far from an exact answer
> to the question we really want to ask, but it's reasonably concrete
> (to the extent that surveys ever are).
> But as Guido says, this is not a popular vote among languages. It's
> interesting to notice what other languages are doing, but harder to
> pin down what's good or bad about what they're doing.
> ChrisA
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