Gratuitous Change (Was: Re: "in" operator for strings)

Jay O'Connor joconnor at
Sat Feb 3 14:23:14 EST 2001

bowman wrote:
> Neil Schemenauer <nas at> wrote in message
> >
> > scope changes are the only ones that affect existing code.  You
> > have to forgive me if I think your spreading FUD.
> language changes that affect existing code have their own way of spreading
> FUD. I'm not supporting a major software effort in Python at this time, just
> some relatively simple tools for my own use. However, I've had a few
> previously working tools fail or report errors since upgrading. This doesn't
> do a lot to encourage me to undertake a project with a projected lifetime of
> 10 years or so in Python.
> OTOH, the actual deliverable apps I am working on at present have already
> passed the 10 year mark since their original release, have been constantly
> enhanced and expanded, and ported to several platforms. They are written in
> C, and not a line of code has had to be changed because of underlying
> changes in the C language. I believe it is only in the last release of the
> gnu toolchain that the decision was taken to drop support of the long
> obsolete K&R declarations. It is this sort of stability that has made C,
> despite its warts and blemishes, a widely used language.
> Personally speaking, I am not a conservative, but there is something to be
> said for conservative principals when dealing with a language. A parallel
> would be when Java's event model changed -- altogether it was a good idea,
> but forced one to make the choice of using the new model, or staying with
> the old, knowing full well that many users were not going to upgrade their
> jvm's until absolutely necessary.

This is because C is a very old language and it's had time to mature and
figure out what works and what doesn't.  Python (and Java) is still
young and maturing and people are still playing with ideas to make it
work best.  And that can be painful at times.

Jay O'Connor
joconnor at

"God himself plays the bass strings first when He tunes the soul"

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