Python's simplicity philosophy

Arthur ajsiegel at
Sat Dec 6 15:39:08 CET 2003

On Fri, 05 Dec 2003 02:48:40 -0500, Douglas Alan <nessus at>

>When people assert that
>   reduce(add, seq)
>is so much harder to use, read, or understand than
>   sum(seq)
>I find myself incredulous.  People are making such claims either
>because they are sniffing the fumes of their own righteous argument,
>or because they are living on a different planet from me.  On my
>planet, reduce() is trivial to understand and it often comes in handy.
>I find it worrisome that a number of vocal people seem to be living on
>another planet (or could use a bit of fresh air), since if they end up
>having any significant influence on the future of Python, then, from
>where I am standing, Python will be aimed at aliens.  While this may
>be fine and good for aliens, I really wish to use a language designed
>for natives of my world.

The dynamics here are indeed sad.

When an MIT guy says stuff like this, it is discountable because he is
an MIT guy. What is trivial to him...

When a guy like myself, with a degree in English and an MBA says
essentially the same thing - it is more than discounted.  It is
persumptuos, almost, to be participating.

The silliness of the converstations here, about what "I" of course can
understand, but cannot expect others to grasp easily have been indeed
a near downfall, in my eyes. At times, as you say, a broad and
depressing insult seems to be eminating from those discussions.

I've never noticed much insight in those discussion, and none  have
served the practical decision making process in connection with the
future of Python well, at all.

I would probably include the "sum" decision in the mix.


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