python development practices?

Peter Wang pzw1
Thu Nov 1 00:48:20 CET 2001

On 31 Oct 2001 16:24:14 -0500, David Bolen <db3l at> wrote:

>Peter Wang <pzw1[nospam]> writes:
>> one doesn't have to be a rogue programmer to be enticed.  time
>> pressures, schedule pressures, etc. can all force a good programmer to
>> become one of the fallen.  if all the variables are hanging out, with
>> no enforced privacy, it's much much easier/more tempting to start
>> using them inappropriately in the code.  especially if it's just to
>> get one quick feature in there for the demo, etc.  does this happen to
>> other people, or is it just me?? :-)
>One question that hasn't been raised in this thread is whether or not
>this behavior can actually be beneficial too?

no doubt, the development "quickness" and the flexibility of python,
coupled with excellent introspection, are its strong points.

>So in some respects, being able to bypass a published interface when
>necessary can be considered a positive and doesn't have to be a

yes - one can't make sweeping generalizations about the pros or cons
of breaking a published interface; it all depends on context.
however, certain sorts of behavior will be more likely to end up
biting you in the ass, and mucking around with the "private" data of a
class is surely one of them.  even if one has to hack something
together for a demo, i'd rather have things in the code which scream
out, "touch this and all bets are off; hack something else!"  in some
sense, the "private", "public", and "protected" labels signal this and
much more.

hm... maybe i'm being too much of a Murphyist. :)

>Or perhaps one of the reasons is that by and large those who have done
>larger developments with Python haven't missed not having the safety
>net, in which case the theoretical loss of protection being discussed
>just hasn't turned into a major problem in practice.

yes, that is a distinct possibility and one that i'm willing to
entertain.  on a purely personal level, i find myself much more
productive and my code surprisingly less buggy when i use python.
being able to code the algorithms is a big plus. :)

> \               David Bolen            \   E-mail: db3l at  /
>  |             FitLinxx, Inc.            \  Phone: (203) 708-5192    |
> /  860 Canal Street, Stamford, CT  06902   \  Fax: (203) 316-5150     \

cool, you work at fitlinxx!  my girlfriend Co-op'ed there a year ago.
do you remember a Crystal Soja?  i recall her mentioning that there
was an effort to use python there - i take it you were part of that?


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