Augmented assignment (was RE: Why should I switch to Python?)

William Tanksley wtanksle at
Sat May 13 15:53:02 EDT 2000

On Sat, 13 May 2000 14:09:37 -0500, Russell Turpin wrote:
>Tim Peters wrote:
>> .. Python has a long & unbroken history of adding more "mere 
>> syntactic sugar" with each release, and I don't think any 
>> addition of that nature has been regretted, except for the
>> extent to which "lambda" snuck in on that basis.

>Who would regret lambda?

Guido, for one.  He points out that it doesn't fit into the language --
its syntax is all wrong, and the scoping rules you need/want to work with
it are very different from the scoping rules Python enjoys.

Me?  I hate the whole lambda calculus, not because of what it is, but
because of what many people think it is.  They think that it's the whole
of computer science, the ultimate way to express and reason about
programs, when in reality it's merely a shabby and incomplete model of how
Fortran fails to work.  The first thing SICP has to do is teach everyone
how bad the lambda calculus model is -- as part of teaching them about a
language allegedly based on lambda calculus.

I'm sorry, was my bias showing again?  :-)


-William "Billy" Tanksley

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