Augmented Assignment (was: Re: PEP scepticism)

Paul Boddie paul at
Tue Jul 10 12:20:40 EDT 2001

Courageous <jkraska1 at> wrote in message news:<8pkujt04pv49fvklj6n8jv61fl177kv6c4 at>...
> >I don't always have the opportunity to talk to people and explain
> >confusing things to them. In one class I gave, a guy let out a gasp when
> >he came to understand the reference rules. He said that that was what
> >had prevented him from coming to understand Python the first two times
> >he tried. Now I think we've made life harder for guys like that to save
> >Numeric Python users from typing a method call for their mutations.
> >That's a poor trade-off.
> Sure; I can buy this argument. I'm not a big fan of the ongoing lexical/
> grammatical expansion of Python.

What scares me is that, whilst I don't use Python at work but do have
some interest in experimenting a fair amount with it on my own machine
at home, it's very likely that Python 2.1 will completely pass me by
(for real use) and, at some point in the not-too-distant future, the
code that I have for Python 2.0 will break mysteriously under 2.2 (or
an even later release which could appear within the year) which I'll
probably have been forced to use because some modules will require it.

At that point, I'm sure that everyone will say how fluidly the
transition from release to release has been, but that won't be a
consolation for people who neither need nor want to indulge in
"version surfing". If it hadn't been for Unicode support and Pygame,
I'd probably have stuck with 1.5.2 until now.

It's bad enough when APIs are changing frequently, like in the earlier
days of Java, but it's downright scary when a language starts to (or
has the potential to) change so quickly. Programmers are raised on the
idea that languages are stable and glacially-slow moving targets, but
people do seem to fear that there's now a substantial melting process
taking place with Python.


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