Pythonic Quote of the Week - sliding away...

Carlos Ribeiro cribeiro at
Tue Jul 3 21:27:52 EDT 2001

At 17:34 03/07/01 -0500, Emile van Sebille wrote:
>Pythonic Quote of the Week...
>     Quite granted that nobody is forced to use a feature.  But when
>     a language becomes too featureful, people start programming in
>     the subdialect they like best, later creating difficulties to
>     other wanting to read their programs, who might like other parts
>     better.
>     One of the reason behind Python legibility success, is that
>     there is almost only one way to do one thing (to contrast with
>     Perl, say).  We are progressively sliding away of this virtue.
>     The danger is real.
>                                   François Pinard

We've got a very good discussion in the past three days about the current 
status of the library. I feel that at least part of the problem pointed out 
by François Pinard may be attributed at the lack of some highly needed 
modules on the standard library. As people keep reinventing the wheel, we 
get two problems:

- Less productivity

- More fragmentation

The solution as proposed by the main python-dev guys - Guido himself and 
Tim Peters - is that the community should take the responsibility to keep 
the library, as we can see here:

[Guido van Rossum, 2001-06-30 05:53:49 PST]
So let's all do what we do best: the core developers (e.g. PythonLabs) 
improve the language, and the community improves the library.

[Tim Peters, Date: 2001-06-30 21:01:05 PST]
A problem is that nobody at PythonLabs has any spare cycles. People can 
suggest any number of things we should do for them, but we're already 
overloaded -- it simply won't happen.

As it's impossible to clone an army of timbots to solve this problem, we 
must try to find another solution. I don't believe that we can sort this 
issue without some involvement of PythonLabs and the core Python-dev guys. 
The problem is not lack of good modules, but lack of *standard* modules. To 
make a module standard, some level of Python-dev commitment is a *must*.

One of things that plugged me on this "Python thing" was the "batteries 
included" motto. In fact, the strength of any programming environment can 
be measured by the extension and usability of its standard library. That's 
where Java is shining today. The investment on the standard library is one 
of the surest ways of making Python popular while keeping with the "there's 
one way to do it" motto.

Carlos Ribeiro

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