"The Python Way"

Patrick Phalen pphalen at teleo.net
Thu Jun 3 16:17:01 EDT 1999

On Thu, 03 Jun 1999, Fredrik Lundh wrote:

> sure looks like the "community" thinks that changing the
> language is more important than using it...

Yeah; now that you mention it, the "let's fix Python" discourse
has been approaching my pain threshold, as it does once in awhile.

(Have you noticed that, during such periods, both Guido and Tim
seem to become singularly quiet?)

Not that Python shouldn't be open to critique, but the more I use
and learn about the language, the more I find myself appreciating the
nice balance and heft Guido gave to it. Yet there doesn't seem to be a
single document that sums up that "aesthetic," but rather it
tends to appear piecemeal, over time, mostly in the Wisdom of Chairman

I'd like to suggest something as a sort of balm for those of us who
come here to try to learn to work with, rather than against, the grain
of Python:

Would both Guido and TIm Peters be willing to collaborate on a short
paper -- call it "The Python Way" for lack of a better title -- which
sets out the 10-20 prescriptives they might offer to those who come to
Python from other languages and immediately want to find a way to bend
it into uncomfortable positions -- (implement closures, etc.).

What I have in mind is sort of a very brief Strunk-&-White-like
"Elements of Style" for Python, which suggests fundamental idiomatic
recommendations for operating within the spirit of the language. A
distillation of Python Zen is what I'm talking about -- something to go
off and contemplate when the "fix Python now" decibels become a bit

Tim? Guido?

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