iterators (was: python-dev summary)

Grant Griffin not.this at
Thu Feb 15 23:28:39 EST 2001

Michael Hudson wrote:
>  This is the first python-dev summary written by Michael Hudson.

Thanks, Michael--keep up the great work!

>  Discussion went round and round for a while and moved
>  on to more general iteration constructs, prompting Ka-Ping Yee to
>  write a PEP entitled "iterators":
>   <>
>  Please comment!

I went through this one, and I really like it: it seems both very
"useful" and very "beautiful".  What more could it possibly need?


I regret Python's increasing loss of status as "executable
pseudo-code".  This proposal, as well as 2.0's "list comprehensions",
seem to be making Python harder for the uninitiated to read.  (To be
fair, though, as a "moderately-initiated" Pythoneer, I've recently
warmed up to list comprehensions.)

Whenever I explain my Python code to a non-Pythoneer, it's always quite
easy to explain--except for slices.  Sure, those are essential in
Python, so the principle of "if something is hard to explain, it's
probably a bad idea" doesn't hold true in that case.  But I think the
principle itself is good: Python should read more like Dutch than
Greek.  And I think this new proposal would definitely be even harder to
explain to the uninitiated than slices--especially the "k:" and ":v"

I think Python is at a crossroads where it is changing from "executable
pseudo-code" into something increasingly...well..."complex".  If
"growth" in a language means "new features", I guess complexity is
inevitable.  In all honesty, the techie in me is all in favor of that. 
But my wiser part realizes that the techie part needs to be kept in
check.  (Or, as the great Archie Bunker said, "Stifle yourself!")

So, give me this great new feature of iterators--if you can't manage to
save me from myself.

ambivalent-ly y'rs, 


Grant R. Griffin                                       g2 at
Publisher of dspGuru                 
Iowegian International Corporation  

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