reduce()--what is it good for?

David C. Fox davidcfox at
Mon Nov 10 21:12:43 CET 2003

Alex Martelli wrote:

>>P. S. I've seen a lot of talk about removing old features from Python,
>>or specifically old built-ins, because of bloat.  Does this "bloat"
>>reduce performance, or does it refer to the extra burden on someone
>>learning the language or reading someone else's code?
> A slightly larger memory footprint, and larger built-ins dictionaries,
> can only reduce runtime performance very marginally.  The "cognitive
> burden" of having built-ins that "don't carry their weight", on the
> other hand, is considered an issue *in Python*, because it doesn't fit
> in with Python's general philosophy and worldview.  Python is meant to
> be a LEAN language (with a not-lean standard library of modules that
> are specifically imported when needed); certain "legacy" features are
> sub-optimal (and best removed, when the strict constraint of backwards
> compatibility can be relaxed) because they interfere with that (and
> built-ins are close enough to "the core language" that they _do_ need
> to be weighed severely in terms of "how often will they be useful").

Thanks, that's what I was trying to understand.


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