Python advocacy

Steve Horne sh at
Fri Dec 15 09:37:43 EST 2000

On Fri, 15 Dec 2000 14:24:27 +0100, "Alex Martelli"
<aleaxit at> wrote:

><jschmitt at> wrote in message news:91bln3$lmr$1 at
>> I just read this good article about Perl advocacy.  I think it applies
>> to Python equally.  I found the link mentioned from /. this morning.
>> i
>> hate advocacy
>Very interesting (for some reason, a not-yet-Pythonista Perl-using
>coworker forwarded me an e-mail copy too -- wonder if he's trying
>to tell me something?-).  Highly recommended reading for anybody
>interested in really understanding why human beings are this way,
>Matt Ridley, "The Origins of Virtue".  There's a long detailed
>summary at,
>but you wouldn't be doing yourself a favor if you limited your
>reading to those 23 pages -- Ridley writes very well, and argues
>persuasively; get the original!

I've read it and, if it's the one I think it is (lots of stuff about
the prisoners dilemma, for instance) then I agree. I'd also recommend
the books by Steven Pinker (one on the origins of language, the other
more generally on human nature - I forget the titles).


>Makes me wonder why Larry Wall didn't think to include at least
>ONE strangeness, wart, or inconsistency *somewhere* in Perl...
>thus making it so boringly perfect and un-idiosyncratic as to
>leave its advocates without a suitable 'scapegoat feature'!

Erm - either you haven't used Perl, or your an advocate yourself!
Personally, if I was selling Python, Perl would be involved in my
scapegoat manouvre.

In fact, one such wart was mentioned in that article above (a length
function that gives the 'wrong' result due to a scalar context).

Steve Horne
Home : steve at
Work : sh at

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