What is Python?

Quinn Dunkan quinn at ngwee.ugcs.caltech.edu
Fri Sep 15 21:56:15 CEST 2000

On Fri, 15 Sep 2000 18:36:32 GMT, Tim Hammerquist <tim at degree.ath.cx> wrote:
>Aahz Maruch <aahz at panix.com> wrote:
>> Its design is driven in part
>> by one of the same design goals for C -- simplicity -- but with vastly
>> different results due to its other design goals.
>C...simplicity.  Did I actually hear those in the same sentence?  Is
>this some obscure definition of "simple" I've never seen?

Well, it is sorta simple from a "do everyhing yourself" point of view.  Once
you get around "array decay" and weird little obscure corners of the so-called
type system.  It has pretty much no built-in anything which is a kind of

But I'm not sure simplicity was a design goal... maybe more along the lines of
"better than B"?  Dunno, I wasn't around :)

>> The main branch of
>> Python is written in C, but because of the simplicity of Python's
>> design, it's actually fairly easy to rewrite the core interpreter in
>> other langauges, including Java (which gives us JPython).
>This is probably what I meant by roots: it was _written_ in C and
>therefore somehow _derived_ from it, if only by source and not style.

A good place to see its derivation is in variable binding semantics and
introspection.  python clearly has a closer relationship to languages like
smalltalk, where perl on the other hand seems closer to C with its pointers
vs. "real" values distinction, etc.

>-Tim Hammerquist <timmy at cpan.org>
>Not all who wander are lost.
>	-- J.R.R. Tolkien

cpan address...  Tolkien quotes...  he's from perl all right :)

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