Let's Talk About Lambda Functions!

Tim Peters tim.one at comcast.net
Wed Aug 14 23:30:12 EDT 2002

> ... [Guido's] oft-repeated claim that the functional gimmicks were
> never intended to be more than "minor conveniences" (which he later
> amended to "minor annoyances", after people started clamoring for
> more of the same).

[Robert Hanlin]
> Argh, why not write this in the Tutorial?  A sentence on its own line
> saying that lambda is a minor convenience,

The Tutorial has a few sentences on lambda, and (IMO) neither over- nor
under-sells it as is.

> and that all the horrors commited in its name were not Pythonic.

What horrors?

> I wouldn't write in Python half as much as I do now if I didn't have
> functional stuff.  But lambda is not important to me, except that
> when it makes code cleaner, it works like a madman.

The standard library has many appropriate examples of Python lambda use.

> I don't want everyone putting down the functional community just
> because lambda can be a bit nasty.

I wouldn't want anyone putting down the functional folks, but I'll refrain
from worrying about that until I see it happening.

> I'd be happy if it could somehow be nuked from Python, just so
> functional programming doesn't get such bad press for something it
> didn't do.

Sorry, I really don't know what you're on about here.  If Python's lambda is
showering the functional programming community with bad press, it's news to
me.  To the contrary, on the Tutor list I've seen several new programmers
inspired to look into Scheme and Haskell precisely because Python lambda
intrigued them.  There's nothing bad about that.

they'll-come-to-back-python-in-the-end<wink>-ly y'rs  - tim

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