Python evolution: Unease

Paul Rubin http
Tue Jan 4 23:14:35 EST 2005

"alex23" <wuwei23 at> writes:
> It's called "having an opinion". "Good" documentation does its job, if
> noone else thought it was poorly documented then to them it wasn't.

Obviously other people thought Tkinter is poorly documented in the
Python distro, since the Python library manual says so itself and
invites people to look at external references instead.

> > Software advocacy, which Python has an awful lot of, [...]
> Unjustifiable claims, which your postings have an awful lot of...

I've justified every claim I've made.

> You've done nothing but kvetch about how others aren't providing you
> with what you need. Let's face it, people like you are never going
> to take the initiative and actually contribute something when you're
> already quite comfortable sponging off the efforts of others and
> hiding behind claims of advocacy whenever anyone questions your own
> motivations.

I'm not one of the Python developers, I'm just a user, I have my own
projects that I spend my time on.  I like the idea of using Python in
some of those projects.  Python advocacy revolves around encouraging
people to use Python in their projects, without having to be Python
developers themselves.  Python advocates say "Python does what you
need, so use it".  That's supposed make Python sound attractive.  If
the real truth is "Python does something sort of related to what you
need, so if besides your own project that you need to finish, you are
willing to stop in the middle and take on some additional projects of
improving Python, it can end up being useful for your task", that's a
lot less attractive.

I'm happy to use Python, as it is, for various kinds of noncritical
and throwaway tasks.  For critical projects I'm looking for tools that
work (e.g. Linux, Apache, GCC), not "it's open source, go fix it".
But just one or two days ago, various people on this group were urging
me to do a critical project in Python instead of Java.  I like Python
enough to get into these romantic quarrels with it (which is what
you're seeing now) and feel pretty cold toward Java.  But while Java's
libraries are poorly designed, their implementations tend to be quite
complete, while Python's are well-designed but often incompletely
implemented.  And so with Java, I feel much less likely to look in the
manual and note the existence of some feature and plan to use it, only
to find out after it's too late, that the feature's implementation is
missing some crucial functionality that would be a lot of work to add.
(Then there's issues with the languages themselves, that are separate).

> In short: grow up and just write the damn documentation.

In short, I should grow up and quietly ignore a lot of Python advocacy
as being groundless and just use Python for limited purposes.  But
what I want instead is for Python itself to grow up, and do things
properly instead of half-assedly.

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