Language change and code breaks

Guido van Rossum guido at
Thu Jul 19 19:32:47 EDT 2001

"Tim Randolph" <timothyrandolph at> writes:

> > (2) Potentially, the group of non-programmers is much larger than
> >     the group of programmers (and it's easier to teach programmers
> >     an arbitrary rule than non-programmers).
> I think the distinction between programmers and non-programmers
> misses a third important group: "sometime programmers" -- people who
> code occasionally to for fun or to solve problems, but aren't in the
> trenches (or the cubes) day in and day out.

Thanks for reminding me!  This is in fact the group I have in mind
when I say non-programmer -- true non-programmers of course wouldn't
be using Python... :-).  In my usage, a "programmer" is someone who
is a professional code-slinger, 8-12 hours a day.  A "non-programmer"
is someone whose profession is something else (e.g. chemist, or
webdesigner, or rocket scientist) but who occasionally needs to

> As a member of this group, who is especially fond of Python for how
> easy it is to pick up where I left off days or weeks before, I would
> very much prefer a case *insensitive* language with tools that
> enforce *uniform* case usage.

And that's of course what I have in mind.

> Nobody wants to see fOo and FOO and foo with the same meaning, but
> nobody wants to see foo and FOO and foo at all in the same program
> with distinct meanings.  I also don't think the cutesy c=C() makes
> for readable code -- at least for this sometime programmer.


--Guido van Rossum (home page:

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