Python's simplicity philosophy

Michael T. Babcock mbabcock at fibrespeed.net
Wed Nov 12 18:01:00 CET 2003


On Wed, Nov 12, 2003 at 08:28:29AM +0000, Robin Becker wrote:
> sequence.sum()
> sequence.reduce(operator.add[,init])
> sequence.filter(func) etc etc
> 
> That would make these frighteningly incomprehensible ;)
> concepts seem less like functional programming. Personally I wouldn't
> like that to happen.

I'm hoping you were being sarcastic ... but I get the feeling you aren't.

Why, pray-tell, would you want an OO program to do:

results = [ func(x) for x in sequence ]

... instead of ...

results = sequence.map(func) ??

I can understand if you're writing highly LISP-like Python (see IBM's
articles on functional programming with Python for example).  However, I
don't see the 'harm' in offering functional methods to lists/arrays.

Looking at this code I wrote today:

    matches = [ get_matches(file) for file in duplicates ]
    todelete = [ get_oldest(files) for files in matches ]

... would end up being ...

    matches = duplicates.map(get_matches)
    todelete = matches.map(get_oldest)

... or better ...

    todelete = duplicates.map(get_matches).map(get_oldest)

... and I somewhat like that as I look at it.
-- 
Michael T. Babcock
CTO, FibreSpeed Ltd.     (Hosting, Security, Consultation, Database, etc)
http://www.fibrespeed.net/~mbabcock/
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