if does not evaluate

Peter Otten __peter__ at web.de
Thu Jun 10 15:39:40 CEST 2004

Hung Jung Lu wrote:

> Jacek Generowicz <jacek.generowicz at cern.ch> wrote:
>> Python has many qualities, but let's stop kidding ourselves that its
>> current state is some sort of global optimum in the space of
>> programming languages.

A local optimum. You could argue that properties and decorators, maybe list
comprehensions, are a step away from that.

>> In spite of its many qualities, Python has a number of
>> shortcomings. Let's stop kidding ourselves that its shorcomings are
>> features.

I'm confident that Python's developers are well aware of the tradeoffs they

> Totally agree.
> Two years ago or so, the Perl newsgroup/mailing-list overshadowed
> Python's newsgroup/mailing-list. Today, the opposite is true. When I
> started with Python, there was one single book, and it was not even
> available in most bookstore. Python has come a long way in popularity.
> However, some bad habits of Perl Mongers have been transplanted into
> the Python community. In particular, blind advocacy/worship, and
> refusal to hear/learn/see better features from other languages.

Pythonistas know that piling up all the best of breed features will not
result in the best language ever.

> In term of smartness or powerfulness, Python is only about average.

How did you measure that?

> Python is good because it kind of sits in the middle of many possible
> technological directions. But when you see comments from people that
> are bilingual in Python and other languages like Self/Io, Haskell,
> Lisp, etc., it's easy to see that Python is frankly kind of
> second-tier player, full of limitations and problems.

Are there any languages without limitations? If so, that might be the
problem of those languages.

It is easy to claim that Python is bad and could be better, the hard thing
is to make the concrete steps in the evolvement of the language and
hopefully avoid the impasses. If you have to make contributions to that,
write a PEP, hack a demo implementation, and I'm sure the Python developers
will listen.


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