carpe linguam

Michael Hudson mwh21 at
Thu Aug 26 21:18:35 CEST 1999

Matt Curtin <cmcurtin at> writes:

> >>>>> On Sun, 22 Aug 1999 17:07:14 GMT,
>     "Fredrik Lundh" <fredrik at> said:
> Fredrik> on the other hand, I'm not sure that would have helped.
> Fredrik> judging from most threads that tchrist appears in (be it on
> Fredrik> comp.lang.perl.misc, gnu.misc.discuss, or this group), things
> Fredrik> often turn into a great flame fest when he's involved, by
> Fredrik> some mysterious reason.
> I haven't ever met Tom personally, but I've known him online for a
> long time.
> Tom complains loudly when something is broken or stupid.  Tom is very
> direct; some would say "abrasive".  Tom is almost always right.  Most
> people who are so taken aback by his presentation are unfamiliar with
> him and/or are likely to take his arguments personally.
> The lack of Python man pages is a problem for Unix folks. 

But python *has* a man page! It appears that the default package that
comes with redhat doesn't install it, but that is hardly Guido or the
Python community's fault. Maybe someone should have noticed earlier,
but then most redhatters round here have probably long since given up
on the default installation of Python because it sucks. Hopefully the
python4linux effort will see to this...

[biggo snippo]

It seems that Mr Christiansen didn't do much research before letting
himself loose on this newsgroup - saying it had no documentation,
using an old book, using an out of date installation that came by
default with the OS. This smacks as odd considering that he clearly
put quite a bit of effort into his two initial posts. Whatever; he's
gone now and all that's left is a sour taste. Not his fault, but his
methods didn't help.

> Tom is trying to get the Perl community to learn Python and learn from
> it.  Python has done some things well.  It has done some other things
> not so well.  We, the users and designers of languages, have a great
> deal to learn from each other.  Perl folks generally seem to recognize
> that; it's sad that so many other language communities don't
> reciprocate.  It's especially sad to see that Python's is one that
> seems to like its glass house.

I believe this is unfair. I don't know, but if you did a languages
known per regular poster comparison on many language newsgroups I
think comp.lang.python would come out high. Also I believe the
languages turned up would be the more interesting ones, like Haskell,
lisp, Eiffel, ml, as well as your usual C/perl/Fortran.

Some people on this newsgroup are clearly not so learned; about
Python, perl or other languages. I think I'm mangling together quotes
from both Tim Peters and Tom if I say "perl does not have a monopoly
on being both attractive and repulsive at the same time, and many
posters to comp.lang.python has failed to realize this yet."

Python isn't perfect; anyone who claims it is is either lying or
stupid. I much prefer it to perl, but that says as much about me as
about the languages.

> I hope that in the long run, the Python community as a whole will
> prove me wrong.

I think it will.

I hope it will.

Best regards,

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