Why "from __future__" stinks; a counter-offer

Jeremy Hylton jeremy at alum.mit.edu
Tue Mar 20 01:13:34 CET 2001

>>>>> "TR" == Tim Rowe <digitig at cix.co.uk> writes:
  >> Officially, complaints need only be posted to c.l.py.  It's not
  >> clear to me at this point what the True Practice is, but sending
  >> e-mail to the PEP champion is supposed to work best of all.  (Not
  >> all PEP creators are on python-dev.)
  > Discussion on comp.lang.python is fine, although it would usually
  > help to cc the PEP author.  If there are legitimate complaints
  > posted to c.l.py and the PEP author ignores them, I expect
  > someone will cry foul.  Tim reads c.l.py as devotedly as anyone.
  > Barry and I try to keep up, too.

  TR> But there's part of the problem; egoless PEP writing is as hard
  TR> as egoless programming, and having come up with a solution the
  TR> author of that solution is bound to have some emotional
  TR> involvement in that solution.  There have been (rightly IMHO)
  TR> howls of protest about __future__, but Tim has said it's ok for
  TR> him, routinely dismisses all protests, presumably because he
  TR> genuinely doesn't understand what our problem is, and he tells
  TR> us it's going in anyway. Can you see why we're not all convinced
  TR> that the PEP process is any help to us?

It's unlikely that Tim dismisses people because he doesn't understand
them.  It's likely that people complain and expect that their
complaints will cause the PEP to change.  Not likely.  We all agree
that overloading import is ugly, it's just less ugly than the

If you think it's ugly and you think you have a better solution, then
you can write a PEP, too.  None of the people who complained took the
time to write a PEP describing their solution.  If you want to
convince Guido that __future__ should disappear, you've got to
convince him that there is a better solution.


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