Python's biggest compromises

Christopher Koppler klapotec at
Thu Jul 31 17:52:26 CEST 2003

On 31 Jul 2003 06:55:52 -0700, anthony_barker at
(Anthony_Barker) wrote:

>I have been reading a book about the evolution of the Basic
>programming language. The author states that Basic - particularly
>Microsoft's version is full of compromises which crept in along the
>language's 30+ year evolution.
>What to you think python largest compromises are?
[snip whitespace, dynamic typing, interpreted]

I don't see those as compromises, but mostly as assets.

Significant whitespace (you probably mean significant indentation -
whitespace isn't more or less significant in Python than in other
modern languages) I have only experienced as a boost in readability,
clarity and, most of all, consistence; and there's no possibility of
'brace style wars'.

Dynamic typing vs. static typing has already long ago reached the
status of holy war, so I'll decline to comment.

That python is not (yet) compiled, is mostly a non-issue (and if PyPy
is a success, it won't even be that). If it was just about
performance, then coding the really performance-intensive parts in C
should suffice, apart from kernel hacking and similar . In my
experience, the decision to convert a (successfully functioning)
project from 'a scripting language' to C/C++/Java has always been a
political one, and not really based on technical considerations.

That said, the only large compromise in Python language design I can
detect, is the decision to be quite strictly backwards-compatible
between versions, which is definitely not a bad thing, as long as the
language doesn't go baroque because of it. And Python 3.0 will
hopefully throw out any accumulated cruft.


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