Python evolution: Unease

Bulba! bulba at
Tue Jan 4 14:06:57 EST 2005

On Tue, 4 Jan 2005 11:15:54 +0100, aleaxit at (Alex Martelli)

>Also, you keep talking about "the core python team" on the basis, it
>would appear, of reading one document by Guido.  Have you bothered doing
>a MINIMUM of homework, such as, looking at
>and specifically AMK's entry for September 30?  

This complaint about "syntax cruft" is really weird, as while
browsing through the old and new docs I got the impression that
Python hasn't really changed so much as just added new, and
mostly well-chosen features. What's not to like in sets for

However, I do have to concede that Python as environment
still has a way to go - not the language features are missing, but 
better _standard_ IDE and debugger. E.g. Pythonwin debugger 
sometimes simply dies on me, I have no idea why. 

This is not to criticize the great work that you 
guys are doing and the results of which we get FOR
FREE (something in principle I don't believe), but merely 
to indicate that Python has grown and so did the 
expectations. People tend to get spoilt: they expect to 
find in a free product the gazillion of VS-like features. :-) 
As we say here, "appetite tends to grow as you eat". 

E.g. right now I would kill for a standard, built-in matrix 
type that would be as flexible as lists and dictionaries are
in Python, so that I could slurp the whole CSV file or some
other table in one instruction into a matrix that could 
accomodate data types likes strings and floats (just like
dictionaries do - just,  say, declare, "column 1 of matrix 
contains strings, and please convert the values in column 2 
into floats"), and then easily do some fancy matrix 

Clean and expressive syntax plus flexibility of lists and 
dictionaries are the main reasons I got into Python. 

Where else could I do smth as neat as writing a 
CSV header with:


Note I didn't have to do any operations myself:
all that was necessary for me as a programmer was to 
figure out how to connect the Lego pieces together.

We need more of this sort of expressive power in a 
standard library and built-in types. This is the subconscious
power of attraction in Python I think. :-) I'm not a language
designer. I don't know how to get there. I just would love 
to see more of that around. 

To summarize, it's not the language that is would be
nice to develop further. Those are:

- more of the rich, flexible data types

- more extensive standard debugger

- possibly standard IDE with more features
that are typically found in commercial products

<now the evil me sits back, relaxes and watches
how properly motivated Alex and others get to work>

No, really, guys, great thanks for all that work.


Real world is perfectly indifferent to lies that 
are the foundation of leftist "thinking".

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