Zope 3.0, and why I won't use it

Alex Martelli aleaxit at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 15 23:33:07 CET 2004

Jim Fulton <jim at zope.com> wrote:

> >   Guido has repeatedly stated that a future version of Python will
include static type support.  The Zope project has driven numerous past
changes to Python.  What's funny about this?
> For the record, I'm against static typing for Python, although,
> if Guido decides he wants it, I have an open mind. :)

Glad to hear that.  As for me, I'd love it if function arguments, only,
could bear an 'as' clause (making 'as' a keyword is long overdue):

def x(y as foo, z as bar):
    <body of x>

translating into:

def x(y, z):
    y = adapt(y, foo)
    z = adapt(z, bar):
    <body of x>

where builtin 'adapt' does protocol adaptation.  On the other hand, if
the semantics of those 'as' clauses were something like:

def x(y, z):
    if type(y) is not foo: raise TypeError, 'y must be foo'
    if type(z) is not bar: raise TypeError, 'z must be bar'
    <body of x>

then that's the day I move to Ruby, or any other language that remained
halfway sensible (if any).

In other words, if the 'as' clause (or whatever absurd syntax ends up
being adopted in its place -- judging on recent performance, probably a
two-arguments version of splat, or a nice << to complement the just as
nice 'print>>bah,humbug' syntax -- good thing I don't really care about
syntax sugar;-) ends up being a way to ease *type-checking*, then, well,
I'll evaluate that as being on a par with easing alcohol abuse.  What
the syntax supports, people will do more of, and we already know that
type-checking, like alcohol abuse, is a _very_ popular although
self-destructive practice.

Protocol adaptation is the polar opposite from type checking.  I'd see
syntax that supports adaptation as being on a par with easing things
that are good for you, as well as pleasant, and yet are not widely
practiced -- yoga, aerobics, many other forms of exercise, healthy
nutrition -- the language gently encouraging you to do the right thing.


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