Why functional Python matters

Paul Prescod paul at prescod.net
Fri Apr 18 02:08:16 CEST 2003

Henrik Motakef wrote:
> ...
> There are really ideas to remove the functional stuff from Python? I
> wonder why people frequently think that making things impossible will
> improve programming languages.
> just-because-it's-flexible-doesn't-mean-it's-perl-ly y'rs

There is nobody suggesting to make anything impossible. The question is 
whether to have two or three syntactic variations for more or less the 
same thing. Lambda is syntactic sugar for def. You literally can't 
accomplish anything (useful) with it that you couldn't with def. map is 
very near to syntactic sugar for list comprehensions (or vice versa). 
apply is syntactic sugar for "*", "**", and so forth. If Python adds new 
stuff (like "*", and list comprehensions) and never removes anything 
then there will come a day when it is full of redundant features. I 
don't really feel strongly enough to argue about lambda et. al. but I 
want to make the point that there are two sides to this argument.

  Paul Prescod

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