Deposing Dictators

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Sun Aug 5 20:58:13 CEST 2001

"Stephen Horne" <steve at> wrote in message
news:56fqmtcl20tg64aradbnarkj9kl514kg67 at
> If this PEP goes ahead, as every indication shows it always was
> to do, then, on the whole, it just means I won't trust Python to
> remain stable any more.

Your choice.  This is the first Python change in 11 years to break
forward compatibility of old code in a major way.  It is comparable,
perhaps, to the change in C from K&R to ANSI function declarations
(which the CPython codebase has gone thru).  I expect it to be as
rare, but who knows.

>.... However, the simple fact is that the Python dictatorship is a
somewhat weak one,
> compared with other dictatorships.

The BDFL title is partly a recognition of Guido's original and ongoing
prime authorship (=speakership =dictatorship) of the ongoing works
known as Python (the language specification) and CPython (the
implementation thereof).  It is also partly a joke (a pun on the
varied meanings of dictator) perpetrated and perpetuated by Tim Peters
and a few others.  Taking it too seriously, in the negative meaning,
as others have done even worse than you, seems to me a bit hysterical.
I think something else like LFL (Leader For Life) might have been and
now maybe would be a better choice (Tim?).

> We are all free to leave and go elsewhere, and there's nothing the
DFL can do about it.

Since Guido has already acknowledged your freedom and invited you to
exercise it if you wish, and disclaimed any intention to 'do
[anything] about it' (other than in how he develops Python) what is
your purpose in continuing to falsely label him 'dictator' as in
'denier of freedom'?  Enough I think.

Terry J. Reedy

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