Python's simplicity philosophy

Curt curty at freeze.invalid
Fri Nov 21 19:06:47 CET 2003

Ben Finney <bignose-hates-spam at> writes:

> On 21 Nov 2003 12:46:44 +0100, Curt wrote:
> > Erik Max Francis <max at> writes:
> >> You don't really think the sequence [flirty, curty, curty, flirty] is
> >> sorted, do you?

> > Well, you did do _something_ to the sample for which you fail to find
> > a more descriptive word than "tweak".

> He contrived an example that demonstrated his point.  You seem to be

No, he didn't contrive an example.  Please don't invent things.  He tooked
my perfectly good and reasonable example of a file containing redundant
entries and "tweaked" it in order to make the entries of type "curty"

> fascinated with finding some definition of "sort" that can be bent to
> this.

I did not bend the definition of sort--I got it out of the WordNet dictionary 
and quoted one of its senses directly. 

> > I certainly do think that the
> > proper word for the modified sample is "sorted"; yes, you sorted the
> > file on the word "curty", by which I mean that you performed "an
> > operation that segregates items into groups according to a specified
> > criterion" (WordNet).
> This is ridiculous.

No, it isn't.

> What makes you think he applied "the curty criterion", presuming there
> can be some meaningful definition of that?  Why could he not, perhaps,

He grouped the "curty" entries in my sample, is what makes me think he
applied the "curty criterion", and this a perfectly meaningful definition
of the "curty criterion", to wit: "take the sample and change the order
of the lines so that the items of type "curty" are grouped".  The fact
that he grouped the latter in the middle of the list changes nothing. That
was a conscious decision on his part; he could have put the curty items at
the top, or at the bottom, or at any position in the list of his choosing,
if the list was long enough.   

> have "sorted" it based on the arrangement of monitor toys he could see?
> Or on the output of /dev/random ?

> Are you saying that *any* list which has had *any* concievable criterion
> applied to its generation, must therefore have been "sorted"?

I'm saying exactly what I said, i.e. that any arbitrary list upon which
one performs an operation which segregates items into groups according
to a specified criterion is sorted.  If you have a list of cows and
cats and dogs, and perform an operation on said list which groups all
the cows together, you have sorted that list "by cows".  This appears
to me to be a standard definition; I have yet to see an argument from
you that would dissuade me from believing this to be true, but I would
love to see it if it exists.

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