PEP0238 lament

Paul Prescod paulp at ActiveState.com
Tue Jul 24 14:31:58 CEST 2001


Stephen Horne wrote:
> 
>...
> 
> They aren't dynamically typed, they are essentially untyped. That is a
> very different thing. And the reason Python users are Python users is
> quite often because they hate the choices made by Perl, Javascript...

JavaScript is as strongly typed as Python. I don't think anyone ever
abandoned Perl specifically for type system reasons. Overall cleanlness
is more likely.

> There's a marketing term called differentiation. The principle is
> simple. You can't compete effectively with another product unless
> yours is different somehow.

Python is different in a lot of ways. This one is trivial and most
people will see both and conclude that Python got it wrong. We wouldn't
be talking about this if Guido didn't hear, over and over again, from
many people that the other behaviour would be better. Of course that
isn't a concensus opinion but I think it is probably a silent majority
opinion.

> ... Not
> a stunningly serious mistake, perhaps, but that hardly counts as a
> justification - especially given the much more serious problems with
> compatability and credibility.

There are ways to handle compatibility (see my posts enocuraging people
to take the long view) and credibility is only a function of
compatibility.

If you put your support behind a plan to stage the change in as
gradually as possible, you might have more luck then telling Guido that
his language designer instincts are wrong.
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