[Python-ideas] Retire or reword the "Beautiful is better than ugly" Zen clause

Ryan Birmingham rainventions at gmail.com
Fri Sep 14 00:37:11 EDT 2018

Discussions like this are always difficult and charged, but I think there's
a good opportunity for growth here.
I love being involved with the Python community for, among many other
reasons, I think Python is quite inclusive, especially as a technical

However, I know that people often feel excluded from technical communities,
and I don't think that Python is an exception to that.

Referring to code as ugly doesn't bother me, but I could see how it could
bother others. I do also see how it's useful shorthand. I think that
there's some sort of balancing test that corresponds to making the decision
on not just this case, but others like it.

I know that this kind of decision is made all the time, however, I don't
see a PEP which seems to touch on anything like this. I think we need to
document it for the sake of transparency and consistency.

Forgetting for a moment the charged context of the conversation itself,
does anyone have any opinions on how this would come to be?

Thank you for reading and hopefully listening,
-Ryan Birmingham

On Thu, 13 Sep 2018 at 23:03, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:

> On 9/13/2018 7:34 PM, Tim Peters wrote:
> > I already made clear that I'm opposed to changing it.\
> To me, this settles the issues.  As author, you own the copyright on
> your work.  The CLA allows revision of contributions, but I don't think
> that contributed poetry should be treated the same as code and docs.
> The free verse form reminds me more of Hindu-Jain-Buddhist sutras, with
> a bit of Monty Python tossed in, rather than of Zen writing.  I presume
> that 'Zen' refers more to the method of composition, and the lack of
> post-production editing, than to the content.
> If the text were up for grabs, I would want to change some periods to
> semi-colons and reconsider some of the other lines.
> The 'beauty' line is one of multiple contrasts, and should be judged in
> that context, not in isolation.
> --
> Terry Jan Reedy
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