Foot in yourself shoot [was: learning C]

Steve Holden sholden at
Fri Mar 9 15:23:42 CET 2001

"Chris Gonnerman" <chris.gonnerman at> wrote in message
news:mailman.984146352.13033.python-list at
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Werner Schiendl" <ws-news at>
> Subject: Re: learning C
[ ... ]
> > Why not have a look at all of it and use what's suited for the
> > best?
> Like I said, been there, done that, couldn't afford the T-shirt.  Rewiring
> my
> brain for C++ is just too hard.  I'm glad that it works for you, and many
> others,
> but there are also many like me that can't see why you are pushing so
> I
> guess you just can't see our point of view, though I think I see yours
> fine.

I have for a long time been a pragmatist when it comes to language choice --
use the most appropriate language for a particular task, assuming the
learning curve for a new language doesn't make it easier to use an existing
but somewhat less-appropriate one.

The computing community has known for a long time that each language is
better for some tasks than others, vide

(quoted below). As with much good humo(u)r, there are real points of
comparison available for those who care to look for them. I think the C++
quote is especially relevant. To which I would only add:

Python: After half an hour's design work you realise that foot is simply a
special case of limb.extremity, so you use a standard library to solve your


The proliferation of modern programming languages (all of which seem to have
stolen countless features from one another) sometimes makes it difficult to
remember what language you're currently using. This handy reference is
offered as a public service to help programmers who find themselves in such
a dilemma.

TASK: Shoot yourself in the foot.
C: You shoot yourself in the foot.

C++: You accidentally create a dozen instances of yourself and shoot them
all in the foot. Providing emergency medical assistance is impossible since
you can't tell which are bitwise copies and which are just pointing at
others and saying, "That's me, over there."

[Many other languages omitted: follow the link if these are new to you].

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