More random python observations from a perl programmer

Ivan Van Laningham ivanlan at
Thu Aug 19 19:19:55 CEST 1999

Hi All--

Tom Christiansen wrote:


> :Thanks for the document.  It was very interesting reading.
> You're welcome.  I got so fed up with the damned flames coming
> from people who don't actually even know what they're talking about,
> that I decided to make sure I wasn't one of them. :-)
> --tom

If that's what you believe, why are posting stuff like this (from a
different, but nearly simultaneous, posting)?

> You seem to be looking for a fight.   Please say nothing
> at all if that's all you want to do.

In response to someone else's quite reasonable suggestion to read the

You also say in the same message

> Thanks for nothing: there are no manpages.  I read the Lutz book.
It's true that there are no manpages.  Linux comes with manpages, but
every single manpage says (paraphrased): ``Don't trust this page; we
don't.  See the info help system for the real scoop.''  When you do,
it's harder to use and usually doesn't have any more to say than the
manpage.  I'm not sure that the choice of two mostly wrong options is a
choice with any value.

Python doesn't have manpages, true.  It does have perfectly adequate
documentation available at

You can download that documentation and install it on your own computer
if you wish to avoid the net.  Like all documentation, it leaves
something to be desired (decent search facilities, for one, but manpages
don't have those either); but, like Kernighan & Ritchie's _The C
Programming Language_, it's all there.

Your complaint that Python doesn't have manpages is like complaining
that Buddhism doesn't have a Bible.  Perfectly true, and perfectly

<a-difference-that-doesn't-make-a-difference-isn't-information>-ly y'rs,
Ivan Van Laningham
Callware Technologies, Inc.
ivanlan at
ivanlan at
See also:
Army Signal Corps:  Cu Chi, Class of '70

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