What does Python fix?

Donn Cave donn at u.washington.edu
Thu Jan 17 19:01:52 CET 2002


Quoth Andrew Kuchling <akuchlin at mems-exchange.org>:
...
| I don't know; I think most programmers are simply far too conservative
| and too intolerant of superficial syntactical features.  Witness how
| much flak Python, an otherwise fairly conventional languages, takes
| for its one unconventional feature, indentation.  With this attitude,
| Lisp with its parenthesis-heavy syntax doesn't stand a chance, no
| matter how good or bad the language itself is.  

I believe you're right about that, except maybe that last clause.
I mean, I read "conservative", "intolerant" and "superficial" as
pejorative, and there's some justice in that, but ...

for me, anyway, programming is nine tenths comprehension.  Even
when I wrote it myself, [... blah, blah, familiar Python propaganda
snipped.]  When we're talking about how notation conflicts with
comprehension, you can't really say "no matter how good or bad the
language itself is", because comprehension impairment can't reasonably
be separated from the language itself.

I'm not saying Lisp is necessarily less comprehensible, nor that
Python is necessarily more, nor that this issue is only about coding
notation - I think there's a lot of juice to be squeezed out of an
Object Oriented vs. Functional comparison on the matter of
comprehensibilty.  But superficial features are important too.

	Donn Cave, donn at u.washington.edu



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