PEP 263 comments

Carel Fellinger cfelling at
Fri Mar 1 21:10:20 CET 2002

Stephen J. Turnbull <stephen at> wrote:

---lots snipped---

Thanks for your well balanced commands, they sure refined my thinking
on the subject.

> My _very_ personal opinion is that identifiers can be run through an
> online dictionary, and I'm fortunate to be pretty good at languages,
> so that's fun.  Nor do I do programming for a living, I can afford to
> concentrate on "fun."

Yep fun, but very hard as single word translation is amongs the
hardest translation problems.  Wouldn't it be better if we had a kind
of inter-lingua-meaning-representation and each and every identifier
linked to one by the author of the code himself?  The `translation'
process could then be automated, and everyone could read the source in
her/his own language. (I know, in practice next to impossible to
achieve such a inter-lingua complete with all the mappings to all the
languages out there, but he I'm porting an old project I was involved
in that tried this route for general texts, so why not dream on:)

> My opinion as a teacher is that I'd really like to be able to teach
> programming to my freshmen with a language that uses Japanese
> identifiers (including reserved words) and syntax (Japanese is a
> reverse Polish language).

We used to make fun of the french who had their own version of Algol,
but growing older, wiser(?) and more experienced and finally having
kids of my own that want to program I've come to appreciate this point
more and more.  And now with the world getting smaller and smaller
thanks to internet, I tent to think it's a problem we should tackle.

> A correct comment in an illegible character set is harmless, although
> perhaps frustrating; an incorrect one that you can read is dangerous.

very true

> So I'd have to say that except for the very worst cases, there are
> benefits to having code in English, or near-English, vocabulary.  But
> comments should be written in a language you can use for teaching.

Well, atleast a language you are reasonably well versed in as to prevent
those `incorrect' comments.

groetjes, carel

More information about the Python-list mailing list