Another newbie question

Mike Meyer mwm at
Mon Dec 12 00:34:13 CET 2005

aleax at (Alex Martelli) writes:
> Mike Meyer <mwm at> wrote:
>    ...
>> It's not my cherished example - it actually came from someone
> You picked it to (try and fail to) show that there is DIFFICULTY, which
> I showed there isn't.

No, you showed you could change the example so there is no extra

>> else. That you can change the requirements so that there is no extra
>> work is immaterial - all you've done is shown that there are examples
>> where that don't require extra work. I never said that such examples
>> didn't exist. All you've shown - in both the single concrete example
>> and in a generalized case - is that any requirement can be changed so
>> that it doesn't require any extra work. This doesn't change the fact
>> that such cases exist, which is all that I claimed was the case.
> Untrue: you claimed that the specific API (allowing attribute-setting)
> "makes changing the object more difficult", not the obvious fact that
> "there exist APIs so badly designed that they make changing more
> difficult".

Except you haven't shown that the API was badly designed. You can't
show that it's badly designed, because you don't know the requirements
that the API is meeting.

>  And I showed that, in the GENERAL case, since attributes
> worth being made assignable are obviously also worth being made settable
> in a constructor of some kind,

But we're not dealing with a general case, we're dealing with a
specific case. Just because you can't think of cases where an
attribute being settable doesn't mean it needs to be settable in a
constructor doesn't mean they don't exist.

> So, I claim I have totally disproven your claims about difficulty
> ("extra work", as you're trying to weaselword your way out, might be
> writing one or two trivial lines of code, but that's not DIFFICULT, and
> the claim you originally made was about DIFFICULTY, not tiny amounts of
> trivially easy "extra work" -- as I already mentioned, obviously ANY
> method you add is "extra work" for you compared to not adding it, but
> the interesting question is whether that entails any DIFFICULTY).

Actually, the original claim was "more difficult". You've done your
usual trick of reaching an invalid conclusion from what someone said,
then acting as if that's what they said. Congratulations, you've
successfully beaten up the straw man you created.

Mike Meyer <mwm at>
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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