Python -- (just) a successful experiment?

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Mon Aug 8 04:24:51 CEST 2005


"Paul Rubin" <"http://phr.cx"@NOSPAM.invalid> wrote in message 
news:7xoe8a6q24.fsf at ruckus.brouhaha.com...
bkhl at stp.lingfil.uu.se (Björn Lindström) writes:
>Actually that proliferation is one of the culprits in Python being a
>pain to deal with.  I'm personally not a GUI fetishist and Tkinter has
>been good enough for the client-side GUI's I've needed to write (I'm
>more web-oriented most of the time).  But the reason for that
>proliferation is other people are dissatisfied with Tkinter.

Do you have any data to support that?  Seriously.  Consider

Hypothesis 1: someone learned Python and Tkinter, felt dissatisfied with 
Tkinter, went searching the universe for an alternative, found GTK, and 
wrote PyGTK, perhaps learning C in the process.

Hypothesis 2: a C-programmer who is a satisfied user of GTK (on *nix, 
presumably) learns Python.  "Neat, but I also want to keep using GTK." 
Which he can because it is relatively easy.

Repeat H1 and H2 for every wrapping.  You believe in H1.  I suspect H2 is 
more often true, but admit I have no data.

>  That by itself says the stdlib is lacking.

I have an alternate interpretation.  There is a Python wrapping for as many 
C libraries as there are because Python is neat and wrapping is fairly easy 
and the rewards great.

When I learned Python several years ago, being able to interactively drive 
and easily script foreign libraries was touted as one of its killer 
applications.  Numerical Python, wrapping BLAS, LINPACK, and FTPPACK was a 
prime example.  So in a sense, you are criticizing Python for being 
successful at what I believe was one of its design goals.

But go ahead.  Lots of choices can be a nuisance.  Just check out the 
supermarkets.  (But so is too few choices ;-)

Terry J. Reedy






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