[OPINION] - does language really matter if they all do the samething?

Paul Prescod paul at prescod.net
Sat Jan 24 02:04:23 CET 2004

Dietrich Epp wrote:
> <abestos>
> Python seems to take the middle ground.  It's build from a procedural 
> standpoint, in an environment where most things are objects and some are 
> functions.  It's not what I'd choose as an example of an object oriented 
> language.  There are no messages, only function calls, so you can't 
> capture them. 

That's certainly not true. Take a look at how the XML-RPC libraries 
work. They capture "messages" sent from the program to the proxy object, 
reify them as XML "messages" sent across the network and then turned 
back into function calls applied to objects.

  The plus side is that methods behave exactly the same as
> functions, this makes the language simple and the two ideas 
> interchangeable.  You can set an object's method to a function.  The 
> minus side is that the paradigm of sending a message "to" an object 
> doesn't exist, and anyone coming from Smalltalk or even Objective-C 
> might miss that and feel constrained (I did).  But if Python were really 
> object-oriented like that, then it wouldn't have Python's simplicity any 
> more.
> </abestos>

I would appreciate an example of something you would do by capturing a 
message that cannot be done in Python.

I rather wonder if you've illustrated the downside of flitting from 
language to langauge. You may think you're using a language to capacity 
without actually doing so. I could be wrong but perhaps even the tasks 
you turn to Lisp or Perl for may have easy equivalents in Python.

  Paul Prescod

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