Fat and happy Pythonistas (was Re: Replacement for keyword 'global' good idea? ...)

Kay Schluehr kay.schluehr at gmx.net
Sat Aug 6 22:55:26 CEST 2005

John Roth wrote:

> Another thing that stands out: the explicit versus dynamic typing debate
> has moved on from program correctness (which is a wash) to
> other areas that explicit (or derived) type information can be used
> for. I see this in PyFit: the languages where explicit type information
> is available by reflection have cleaner implementations.

What makes myself a fat and lazy Pythonista is simply motivated by not
wanting Guido throwing any language feature that someone found
accidentally in another language into Python. My personal attitude is
that I have enough self-confidence that I can live with just the second
most popular programming language in the world. And maybe I'm also fat
because I like to feed myself ( my topics of interest ) and not people
with consumerist attitudes.

So you have recognized that dynamic languages don't support type
reflections well. Surprise, surpise! Other wellinformed authors like
Benjamin Pierce wouldn't even agree about Python as being typed but
dynamically *tagged*. Now what do you recommend? Sacrificing
__delattr__, __setattr__, decorators and metaclasses for having
colorcoding editors and a Java-like language with indentation syntax?
What do you believe to ensure with type-declarations extracted by tools
in presence of magic methods that enable to rewrite your class on the
fly? Of course some things become harder in Python because they are
impossible to guarantee in general. The PyPy team spends a lot of
effort in exploring the boundary between what can be inferred from
Python code and translated into lower level languages before program
execution and what has to be passed to some code specializer at
runtime. That's where new insights about dynamic languages may come


PS. I don't have anything against Ruby. May it have many cheerleaders!
It's just that Haskell is on top of my list of interesting PLs I didn't
devote much time yet and Ruby is far away.

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