Securing a future for anonymous functions in Python

Carl Banks imbosol at aerojockey.com
Thu Dec 30 21:08:58 CET 2004


Nick Coghlan wrote:
> GvR has commented that he want to get rid of the lambda keyword for
Python 3.0.
> Getting rid of lambda seems like a worthy goal, but I'd prefer to see
it dropped
> in favour of a different syntax, rather than completely losing the
ability to
> have anonymous functions.

I shall either coin or reuse a new term here: "premature optimization
of the Python language."

(Please note that the word premature is not intended to be an accurate
description, but irony by analogy, so spare me any semantic
nitpicking.)

In much the same way that programmers often spend a lot of time
optimizing parts of their program that will yield very minor dividends,
while they could have spent that time working on other things that will
pay off a lot, many of the wannabe language designers here are spending
a lot of time on aspects of the language for which any improvement
would only pay small dividends.

I think the worry about anonymous functions is one of the most
widespread cases of "premature optimization of the Python Language."
One could argue about the various benefits of particular choices, maybe
even make a convincing case that one is best in accord with the design
goals of Python; but in the end, the divends are small compared to
improving other aspects of the language.


-- 
CARL BANKS




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