carpe linguam

x ergowolf at
Sat Aug 21 08:38:46 EDT 1999

Pythoneers and Tom,
I have been quitely following Tom's posts and it responses over the last several
days and I just wanted to add my two cents.  I have been studying perl for the
past six months or so.  I just bought the MySQL O'Reilley book(finally came
out!) and it said some nice things about Python so I decided to try it out
including listening in on this mailing list and, of Course, the corresponding
O'Reilley, Learning Python.  I must admit the language is interesting and
impressive in the way it works.  I am not an expert in perl or python, but I
like both and they are tools that accomplish very similar tasks.  They are both
interpreted, have links to C, are easy to learn, use Tk,small footprint, etc.
Why learn another language that is so similar?  I think Tom gave some good
reasons.  It seems to me python and perl are competing with each other, because
they are so similar.  I think it would be better to compare the languages to see
how they can be improved rather than taking Tom's posts personally.  I think
taking Tom's posts personally says something about that person, which doesn't do
python justice.  I think if Tom Christiansen takes the time to look at our
language, then that really is a compliment to python, its developers and users.
After all, I have python(I am adding more content as we speak) and perl sections
side by side on my website(link bellow).  Tom I hope you don't get discouraged
and keep posting.  I have learned alot about perl and python from your posts and
the responses.

mailto:ergowolf at

PS I would be grateful to anyone who could help me add python content or scripts
to my site.

Tom Christiansen wrote:

> Private mail has indicated a remarkably amount of distrust about my
> learning Python.  Some verges on the unbelievable.
> And yes, I react to personal digs unquietly.  That this should
> come as a surprise is itself a surpise.
> The first and smaller thing I wish to say is that when I mentioned
> "sifting through the dreck for gems", I meant sorting through the flames
> that have occasionally been levelled at me, to skip their heat and
> continue on in search of useful information on other people's postings.
> I was certainly *not* talking about the language as dreck, as one
> person thought I meant.
> Secondly, and much more importantly, the reason I am learning Python
> is *not* because I wish to "score some quick hits and prove to c.l.p.m
> that Perl is best after all" [sic] as one private querent asked, to my
> complete and utter horror.
> You may not have known this of me, but I am a collector of languages,
> and to some extent, of language trivia.  Can you honestly believe that
> I studied Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Latin merely
> to prove to myself and the world that English was the best language?
> Answer for yourself the question of why I learned those languages,
> and you'll understand my motivations on learning Python.  Think about
> it for a bit, please.
> Done thinking already?  Sigh.  Very well, it's quite simple, really:
>  *  I want to be able to talk to other people in their own language.
>  *  I want to read their literature.
>  *  I want insights into my own tongue.
> Is that really so terribly difficult to identify with?  No conspiracy
> theories of nefarious purposes are required.
> Well, that's it for now.  The plane beckons, and I'm off to Monterey.
> I hope to see some of you there.
> --tom
> --
> "They always had a rational explanation for the haunting, but they had a dog
>  that could talk."
>                                 - My comment about Scoobie-Doo

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