More random python observations from a perl programmer

Alexander Staubo earlybird at
Sun Aug 22 04:03:59 EDT 1999

In article <37bd4876 at>, tchrist at says...
>      [courtesy cc of this posting mailed to cited author]
> In comp.lang.python, 
>     "Fredrik Lundh" <fredrik at> writes:
> :as an aside, it's a bit sad that Tom didn't read the book's
> :preface, where Mark says, among other things:
> It's a shame that so many of you should be so unbelievably harsh on me
> when *I'm* the one who with malice toward none and full of revulsion
> at the flames causes by *YOUR* community's ignorant attacks on mine,
> that *I* made the honest effort to learn *YOUR* language, and that I
> furthermore for your benefit not my own then took the additonal trouble
> to write-up my experiences and observations gleaned

With all due respect -- not being an active part of this discussion, I 
have observed from afar no flames or unreasonable critique, bar an 
obviously benign "Try reading the docs". Do I sense a whiff of paranoia 
in the air?

Your comments about manpages seem to imply that "man" is the defacto 
standard for documentation; it simply isn't. The quasiphilosophical idea 
that "if it's not in the manpages and not in the Lutz book, it doesn't 
exist" [my phrasing] sounds a bit like the tantrums of a person too 
comfortable in his own land to accept the value of others; "If it 
doesn't have McDonald's, it's not real country."

Your tool isn't everybody else's tool. Personally I don't even know what 
"apropos" is. Even if I made an effort at using it, it doubt it would 
make _my_ workday any easier; I have my own tools, and if I had to use 
man (which isn't part of my toolset), I would nonetheless submit to its 
archaic interface and use it, just as you ought to submit to the 
inflexibilities of the HTML documentation. No need to invoke a fatwah on 
anybody; we live to learn about and deal with our differences.

>while five hundred
> miles away from the nearest tree or internet link.

Python -- or the binary distribution at any rate -- comes with adequate 
HTML documentation in the box, no tree or Internet link required.
[one pompous declamation of self-importance, two generalizations, three 
incriminations against the community, one incident of improper language, 
and three cynicisms generously deleted]

> --tom

Alexander Staubo   
"QED?" said Russell.
"It's Latin," said Morgan. "It means, 'So there you bastard'."
--Robert Rankin, _Nostramadus Ate My Hamster_

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