Unexpected Python Behavior

Alex Martelli aleaxit at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 1 15:38:14 CEST 2004

Steve Holden <steve at holdenweb.com> wrote:
> I don't suppose it's come to your attention that Alex is the author of
> "Python in a Nutshell" and co-author of "The Python Cookbook", and 
> therefore rather well qualified to pontificate on the vagaries of Python

Heh, this may in fact have something to do with his attacks -- we're
both nobodies from a nowhere land (Italy well qualifies for such
epithets;-), yet I'm reasonably well-known in this field and he's not...
some people need no more motivation than envy, in order to start spewing
venomonous attacks, after all;-).

Seriously, being "well qualified to pontificate" isn't really the issue
here.  For example, Greg Ewing is surely just as well qualified, yet
disagrees with me (and with the anonymous author of FAQ 1.4.21, and
presumably with Ka-Ping Yee, who uses the cache-as-default idiom in the
pydoc.py module he contributed to the Python Standard Library, ...) on
the specific point (while agreeing with me that evaluating default
values once at def-time is a good thing -- he has not commented on that
on this thread, but it's easy to google for what he said in the past).

Yet, none of us take such technical disagreements as excuses to spew
insults at each other, nor do we have the arrogance to proclaim our
opinions in the matter "uncontestable".  I think these differences
between typical Pythonistas' behavior, and AG's, are important -- and
maybe, at one remove, they may help explain why you, I, Greg, Ka-Ping,
etc, can be "well qualified"... readiness to listen, and to argue with
the common courtesy civil people maintain, can help one _learn_...


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