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

Franklin? Lee leewangzhong+python at gmail.com
Mon Sep 17 21:42:30 EDT 2018

On Mon, Sep 17, 2018 at 10:50 AM Jacco van Dorp <j.van.dorp at deonet.nl> wrote:
> Op ma 17 sep. 2018 om 16:40 schreef Wes Turner <wes.turner at gmail.com>:
>> I think it's meant to be ironic?
>> Why would that be the first sentence of a poem about software and the Python newsgroup/mailing list community?
>> A certain percentage of people might be offended by changing the first line (the frame of) of said poem; to "I'm better than you".
>> Dominance and arrogance are upsetting to a certain percentage, so that shouldn't occur. (Though arrogance tends to be the norm in many open source communities which are necessarily discerning and selective; in order to avoid amateurish mediocrity).
>> So, in a way, "Beautiful is better than ugly" was the CoC in the Python community for many years; so, now that the CoC is in place, the best thing to do may be to just remove the Zen of Python entirely; rather than dominate the authors' sarcastic poem until it's devoid of its intentional tone.
> I always considered the Zen to be about code only. I don't think I ever read the CoC, and just assumed "at least pretend to be a decent person". I don't think the CoC has anything to do with your code, right ?

PEP 20 makes it sound like it's for the design of Python itself. The
original post was from a metadiscussion about Python's design, not
about its users' code.

By "CoC", Wes is referring to the Zen.

The official Community Code of Conduct is not just about being nice,
but about being nice for the purpose of improving Python.
If you're a jerk to Python users in other contexts (maybe even in
python-list), the Code doesn't care. Your code is (usually) also
outside of the community. The Code of Conduct is about the people,
while the Zen is about the design, and PEP 8 is about the style, but
all three are about potential improvements to Python, not your
personal/professional life (though you could still apply them if you

(It irks me for no real reason that something called the _Code_ of
Conduct has nothing to do with code, but that's the fault of the
mathematicians and early computer scientists for overloading an
existing word.)

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