map/filter/reduce/lambda opinions and background unscientificmini-survey

Jp Calderone exarkun at
Sun Jul 3 20:59:20 CEST 2005

On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 14:43:14 -0400, Peter Hansen <peter at> wrote:
>Steven D'Aprano wrote:
>> Frankly, I find this entire discussion very surreal. Reduce etc *work*,
>> right now. They have worked for years. If people don't like them, nobody
>> is forcing them to use them. Python is being pushed into directions which
>> are *far* harder to understand than map and reduce (currying, decorators,
>> etc) and people don't complain about those.
>I find it surreal too, for a different reason.
>Python *works*, right now.  It has worked for years.  If people don't
>like the direction it's going, nobody is forcing them to upgrade to the
>new version (which is not imminent anyway).
>In the unlikely event that the latest and greatest Python in, what, five
>years or more?, is so alien that one can't handle it, one has the right
>to fork Python and maintain a tried-and-true-and-still-including-reduce-
>-filter-and-map version of it, or even just to stick with the most
>recent version which still has those features.  And that's assuming it's
>not acceptable (for whatever bizarre reason I can't imagine) to use the
>inevitable third-party extension that will provide them anyway.
>I wonder if some of those who seem most concerned are actually more
>worried about losing the free support of a team of expert developers as
>those developers evolve their vision of the language, than about losing
>access to something as minor as reduce().

This is a specious line of reasoning.  Here's why:

Lots of people use Python, like Python, want to keep using Python.  Moreover, they want Python to improve, rather than the reverse.  Different people have different ideas about what "improve" means.  Guido has his ideas, and since he's the BDFL, those are the ideas most likely to influence the direction of Python's development.

However, Guido isn't the only person with ideas, nor are his ideas the only ones that should be allowed to influence the direction of Python's development.  Guido himself wouldn't even be silly enough to take this position.  He knows he is not the ultimate source of wisdom in the world on all matters programming related.

So when people disagree with him, suggesting that they should leave the Python community is ridiculous.  Just like Guido (and the overwhelming majority of the Python community - heck, maybe even all of it), these people are trying to improve the language.

Leaving the community isn't going to improve the language.  Continuing to operate actively within it just might.

For my part, I lack the time and energy to participate in many of these discussions, but anyone who knows me knows I'm not silent because I see eye to eye with Guido on every issue :)  I'm extremely greatful to the people who do give so much of their own time to try to further the Python language.

Suggesting people can "like it or lump it" is a disservice to everyone.

(Sorry to single you out Peter, I know you frequently contribute great content to these discussions too, and that there are plenty of other people who respond in the way you have in this message, but I had to pick /some/ post to reply to)


More information about the Python-list mailing list