My only complaint about Python

Ben Last ben at
Mon Aug 23 10:44:05 CEST 2004

> From: Paul Boddie
> Sent: 23 August 2004 09:17
> To: python-list at
> Subject: Re: My only complaint about Python

> "Ben Last" <ben at> wrote in message
> news:<mailman.2100.1093081354.5135.python-list at>...
> > What's needed (in my extremely humble opinion) is a way to
> build what I need
> > to, using a compiler suite that I can go and get without having
> to spend any
> > money.  Philosophy is fine, but I dislike having an FSF agenda
> pushed on me
> > as much as I dislike a Redmond agenda.  I just want to get on
> with my job
> > (or in this case, pursue my own interests).

Paul; I appreciate your sentiments, and your ability to articulate them, but
I think it would have more relevance and impact if you responded to what I
said, rather than attribute to me statements that I have not actually made.
If you feel like making the sort of reasoned, intellectual and considered
response that I know you are capable of, being David's brother, then I'd pay
attention.  I especially dislike being tarred with the Microsoft-apologist
brush, having suffered in the past in my business career from recommending
Linux against those propounding proprietary systems.

I'm entirely content for Richard Stallman to continue his campaign, and also
entirely relaxed about Microsoft continuing theirs.  What I do not like is
being caught in the crossfire between the two camps and being obliged by
others to fall in with one side or the other.  I believe that "if you're not
part of the solution, you're part of the problem" attitude (of which I do
not accuse you, Paul), is not useful.

I note that Guido, as quoted in states: "I don't
personally care any more whether Python will ever be GPL-compatible -- I'm
just trying to do the FSF a favor because they like to use Python. With all
the grief they're giving me, I wonder why I should be bothered any more."
He goes on to say "Anyway, I removed the acceptance ceremony from the 2.1
license, in the hope that this would satisfy the FSF. Unfortunately, the
FSF's response to the 2.1 license (see above) seems to suggest that they
have changed their position once again, and are now requesting other changes
in the license. I'm very, very tired of this, so on to the next question!"
I too have been though the GPL-argument-mill with company lawyer in the
past.  I'm tired of it.  I have work to do.

I stand or fall in what I do by the recommendations I make.  Currently I'm
running two very diverse and business-critial projects.  Both are based
heavily on Python, Linux and MySQL, because I consider those solutions to
provide us with the best flexibility, fitness-for-purpose and value for
money.  Those are the criteria I used and by which I stand.  If I
recommended products because of any ideological agenda I'd deserve to lose
business.  I choose the tools which best fit the job.  In these cases I've
chosen the best tools of which I'm aware.  One of them is Python; I expect
it to continue to be amongst the best for many years.

If you wish to attack my beliefs, fine, but do it on the basis of what I
said, not what you find it convenient to assume that I said, or extensions
of my statements to ridiculous extremes.  A reductio ad absurdam argument is
no argument.

I had the greatest respect for your brother when I worked with him, and for
some of the things you and/or he have contributed to the Python world.  I'm
disappointed that you seem inclined to attack me in this way.

best regards,

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