UserLinux chooses Python as "interpretive language" of choice

John Roth newsgroups at
Sat Dec 20 12:50:23 CET 2003

"Ville Vainio" <ville.spammehardvainio at> wrote in message
news:du74qvwuv28.fsf at
> "John Roth" <newsgroups at> writes:
> > a third is the ability to forget the empty parenthesis after
> > a function/method call that doesn't require parameters.
> Doesn't this suck big time? How can the interpreter tell whether you
> are trying to call a function or just want a reference to a callable
> object?

That's the crux of the implementation issue, and I, for one,
haven't got an answer that doesn't look real ugly (let alone
break backwards compatability.) That's why I'm not pushing
this particular issue seriously - I don't see a way of doing it,
given the rest of Python, and completely independently of any
"Python philosophy" issues.

> > harder" syndrome. One of these days, someone is going
> > to start chewing up the user base, and for a while it looked
> > like Ruby might have been it.
> I dunno. It just doesn't seem likely that people who have "got" Python
> would switch to ruby. If the extra features of ruby were really
> worthwhile, they would be added to Python (which has happened
> before). I trust the Py development team to do the right decision at
> all times (apart from ternary operator, obviously ;-).

The people who have switched don't post here. I'm very active
on the XP mailing list, and I see lots more references to Ruby than
to Python. Maybe the fact that such industry heavy hitters as Robert
Martin, David Thomas, and any number of others have switched
shouldn't count. In fact, the head of this thread should really be a
wakeup call: the *only* reason that Python was chosen instead
of Ruby is the lack of *current* market penetration.

As far as doing the "right" thing, check the partial list of Ruby
features I gave, and ask yourself how much each of them would
break the "feel" of Python.

It's not that the features aren't worthwhile, it's that there is a
serious philosophy issue, which I think I'm going to address in
my reply to Skip.

John Roth
> -- 
> Ville Vainio

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