Python Origins

Peter Hansen peter at
Fri Dec 8 08:02:51 CET 2000

Curtis Jensen wrote:
> A while back, someone wrote in and asked what a text editor was.  The
> answers to this were polite and informative, and non-demeaning.  I'm
> curious why this one and why others get ripped on, and others don't.
> Luck of the draw?

My first thought was like Andrei's but I actually followed those links,
as Fredrik did, and realized it wasn't really true that Python info was
easier to find than the other with a quick google search.

So I went back to the original posting to reread it to see if I could
understand why we reacted as we did, and whether the reaction was
warranted.  Let's see, he said:

   "I am doing some research and I would be grateful if 
    anybody could give me some history on the origins of 

Hmmm... My immediate gut reaction to that is "you say you are *doing
some research* but you show absolutely no evidence of having done any
before asking us for help".  In other words, his time is more valuable
than ours and it isn't worth his even *trying* to find something, since
we're sitting here waiting for his questions because we have nothing
better to do.

Had the original poster said even "I am trying to research the origins
of Python and haven't been able to find any links that help" I suspect
he would have received little from anyone but helpful links to the real

Those of us who have made even the mildest attempt to actually *do* such
research have found the information rather easy to find.  Maybe not at
the top of a search engine result, but easily found nonetheless.  I just
tried going to, for example, and within about thirty
seconds found that clicking on "Documentation", then "FAQ" led me to, which contains a good start.

In other words, if the original poster didn't just want us to do his
research for him, as implied, he shouldn't have suggested he hadn't done
any himself.  Or perhaps it was simply a poor understanding of the
sentiment of many people (some of us old-timers?) who have long since
become tired of "do my homework" type postings.

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