IsPython really O-O?

Matt Gerrans mgerrans at
Sun Nov 11 08:09:55 CET 2001

Roy, I really would like to know why, specifically, your Smalltalk guru (snob,
dare I say) thinks Java (especially) and Python are not OO.

I find it ridiculous when people write off valuable tools with a stupid,
unverifiable and unquantifiable (i.e. subjective) one-liner (eg. "that's just
syntactic candy"), when in fact what they are really trying to hide is the
truth: they are too lazy or afraid to learn something new!   I think the real
problem is that this "guru" heard you mention a subject in which he was not a
"guru" and felt insecure.   He felt you were trying to steal his thunder and
he lashed out, naturally.

I find this sort of silly writing off of tools very annoying.   The one thing
in the (otherwise good) book "The Pragmatic Programmer" that really pissed me
off was when they wrote off Python because its syntax is "slightly quirky."
I later came to understand that the reason they said this was financial: they
wanted to sell their upcoming Ruby book.    No intelligent and unbiased person
could call Python's syntax quirky.   "Innovative," perhaps, but certainly not

Anyway, my point is, writing off a valuable tool with a one-liner is foolish,
defensive behavior and has no place in an engineering environment.   The more
tools you have in your toolbox, the better you are at solving problems.

- Matt

<kentsmith at> wrote in message
news:AbkH7.41130$bf1.4968343 at
> A Smalltalk guru in our organization looked at Python last weekend (after I
> had made a big scene saying that it may be a solution to some of our
> cross-platform issues) and came away saying that it was no more
> object-oriented than Java.  I sputtered around a bit but could hardly make a
> decent argument, as I'm a mere designer.  We do very large-scale industrial
> work here, all O-O, with object databases (I thought the ZODB business
> looked great).  Is my friend right?  Is Python not "really" appropriate for
> true O-O applications, in the sense that Viz-Age Smalltalk and Eifel and so
> on are???
> Kent Smith
> <embarrassed and kicking himself in Toronto>

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