Robb Shecter shecter at
Tue Apr 25 22:27:57 EDT 2000

Michael Hudson wrote:
> b) How, when you've "fixed" Python do you propose, in method bodies,
>    to distinguish between local and instance variables?  I might drop
>    my longstanding habit of complaining about people complaining about
>    the necessity of "self" if you can answer this question...

Ah hah.  I see the problem.  The language would need to be extended in
one of three ways, right?  Either:

Choice A:  Have a smalltalk-like instance variable declaration.
Choice B:  Have a smalltalk-like local declaration in each method.

...and then, depending on which way the language changed, this would
determine the lookup rules for the variable.  (ie. with choice A, it'd
be: "if it's not explicitly declared, then it's a local variable.")

Choice C:  Have both A & B (like smalltalk does).

This last one is probably not necessary, and not very much like a
scripting language anymore. Now that I've written this all out, I have
to say that I like "Choice A".  I come from Java, and it did bug me a
bit that there was no one easy place to see what instance variables a
class has.  It made understanding the XML parser source code harder, for

PS: I didn't mean to imply that Python is "broken".  I guess that the
repeated "self" just rubs me the wrong way.

- Robb

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