Py: a very dangerous language

Benjamin Niemann pink at
Wed Aug 3 21:51:08 CEST 2005

yoda wrote:

> It was 2a.m.... I was writing my first enterprise scale application in
> Python.... the logic just flowed from my mind onto the keyboard and was
> congealed into the most beautiful terse lines of code I had ever
> seen...
> It was 3a.m.... I knew I had to sleep.... work the next day or rather,
> in a few hours.... but Python somehow brought out all the logic. All
> the verbosity of my thought was purified into clean beautiful logic...
> The Python was wringing the cruft out of my thought and letting me
> generate wonderfully clean code.... I have to sleep... this is the last
> line of code i'm writing...
> It was 4a.m.... just one more def... then I'll sleep..
> It was 5 a.m.... just one more class...I'll sleep now.. I've got to go
> to work in a few hours....
> It was 6 a.m.... just one more lambda...I'll really sleep
> now...seriously... I've got to go to work in a few hours....
> Python is a very dangerous language... It is addictive.. Once you start
> coding, you simply can't stop.... No language has every made(allowed?)
> me to think so clearly before.... This is madness.. I hardly every
> sleep... I simply can't stop coding when I use Python....
> This is scary... maybe I should switch back to Java: a language so
> unwieldy that I'm driven away from the keyboard in disgusted
> frustration....
> I need to sleep.. but Python won't let me... Python is a dangerous
> language....

Well, Python does not cause sleeping problems for me. In fact it lets me
sleep pretty well, because it enables me to write HQ software - in contrast
to other languages that just cause ugly nightmare after reaching a certain
degree of complexity.

But Python is the only software in general that - after years of using it -
still makes me want to shout 'Python ist einfach nur geil!' (german, loosly
translated: 'Python simply kicks ass!') almost every time I dive into
something new.

The only thing that comes close to it is TDD (test driven development) - and
that's not a software product. Since I'm applying it, it greatly improved
the confidence in my code and generally increased the fun in programming.
And TDD also has its downsides: because you are dividing your work into
much smaller steps, each step finalized with a 'all tests passed - your
code works *exactly* as specified' (if you treat the testsuite as the
formal specification, which I do), then you are tempted to celebrate all
these small successes with a small reward. Baaad thing, if you smoke like I

Benjamin Niemann
Email: pink at odahoda dot de

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