Do pythons like sugar?

Carl Banks imbosol at
Thu Jan 9 20:14:58 CET 2003

Steve Holden wrote:
> I wouldn't be at all surprised if he considered himself better at writing
> Python. I'd be surprised if he were right, though.
> Afanasiy: to write '''If the "pythonic world-view" is that code which would
> look better with implicit self is "poor implementation"''' and '''My design
> is perfect.''', and then complain about condescending attitudes strikes me
> as the pot calling the kettle black. 

I really don't see it.

If I asked a question about how to get rid of self, and was told that
self is necessary because code without self makes a poor
implementation, I would say the same thing, because it's a damn petty
excuse to refuse to answer the question.  That's not why Python uses
self, and it's flatly wrong.

And when he said, "My design is perfect," he was being sarcastic, and
was mocking Andrew Dalke's attitude.

What I do see is a presumptuous attitude from some of the reponders;
maybe not condescending, but definitely presumptuous.

> You asked a question, and you got answers.

He got unwanted answers to a question he didn't ask.

I understand this happens, and that a lot of people appreciate it.  I
do it myself.  But what I didn't like at all was the way some of the
posters continued to try to answer the question Afanasiy didn't ask,
even when it was clear he wasn't interested in the answer (e.g. Andrew
Bennett's "why don't you post some more code so we can help you
realize why you don't need self" attitude).

> You may not have liked the tone, but since you can only *interpret*
> its meaning it usually doesn't do you much good to complain about newsgroup
> modes of expression. Or, more shortly: "get over it!".

I agree, it is better to ignore well-meaning but presumptuous people.
Afanasiy could have avoided this whole mess just by ignoring the first

> This is actually quite a friendly group (certainly there are many others
> where you would experience much greater hostility). Try not to interpret
> comments as condescending: they usually aren't. I guess you may wish to make
> an exception of this message :-), though I am actually trying to pur oil on
> troubled waters.

I agree this is a friendly newsgroup, and this kind of thing happens a
lot less than it happens elsewhere.  I had an experience similar to
Afanasiy's on another newsgroup.  I understand that responders will
sometimes will sometimes be presumptuous, however, one particular
poster reeked of it so bad that I lost my cool and let him know it
curtly.  I regret the way I handled it today; I could and should have
been politer, and probably should have used email.

So I sympathize with Afanasiy here.  It can be quite irritating to ask
a question, and have someone second guess you for even asking.  And it
can be very nauseating when that person treats you as if you actually
did ask the question you didn't ask.

Because of this, I try very hard to avoid a presumptuous attitude when
answering questions, and I would like to request others try to as
well.  Specifically, I would request that everyone always respect the
poster's original question.  Replies like, "why are you doing it that
way, you should do it this way," without any regard to the actual
question, I find very rude.

Whenever I want to offer alternatives, I'll usually answer the
original question, if I know the answer, and then offer alternatives.
If I don't know the answer, I'll say I don't know it.  Sometimes, if
it's really a bad idea, I'll offer to answer it if the poster really
wants, but highly suggest a something else.  (And if the poster comes
back saying, "thanks but no thanks," I'll give him the answer.)  But,
no matter what, I try to always acknowledge the question.

I think this newsgroup mostly does a good job of that.


More information about the Python-list mailing list