Wheel-reinvention with Python

Torsten Bronger bronger at physik.rwth-aachen.de
Sun Jul 31 17:41:33 EDT 2005


Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> writes:

> Torsten Bronger <bronger at physik.rwth-aachen.de> writes:
>> [...]
>> None of us has talked about changing syntax.  However, the
>> standard library is part of the language unless you're really
>> very petty.
> Or you use different Python implementations. There are four
> different Python implementations in the world. Not everything in
> the CPYthon standard library runs in all of them. Or are you going
> to claim that someone usin Jython isn't using Python because they
> can't use the full standard library?

Well, in a way, they aren't using Python indeed.  For example, most
Python books tell only partly the truth in this case.

> [...]
>>>> This is not a sign of decadence, but a very good promotional
>>>> argument.
>>> But it's not required for the language to succeed.
>> Today it is (except for very special-purpose languages).
> To put this differently, it's required if you want to succeed as a
> language for the specific purpose of creating GUI
> applications. I'd agree to that. But there are *lots* of other
> application areas around, so limiting your definition of "success"
> to that one field is very short-sighted.

You have to take into account not only the number of application
areas, but also their respective importance.

I'm interested in a language with a big community.  This is my
definition of success.  It has to do with the functionality I can
expect (more contributors can create more modules and documentation)
and with future-proofness.

GUI applications seem to be the most attractive application type.
This is not only true for commercial programming.  When I look at
the most agile projects on Sourceforge, almost all of them have a

Therefore, GUI-aware languages attract much larger user bases, and
so they cater my definition of being successful.

> [...]  By which measure C is still immensely popular, because of
> the large number of older applications that are written in it that
> are available - Python being one such.

Legacy code is not a sign of success IMO because it implies a
difficult future.

> [...] I'd say Python has succeeded as a web development language,
> and as a systems scripting language - and I've certainly missed
> some.

I don't think that Python should rely on these old strongholds.  In
the biggest bookstore of our region, there is one book about Zope
but a whole bookself about PHP.  And I've never used consciously a
Python system script in contrast to dozens of Perl scripts.

In contrast to PHP or Perl, I consider Python a general-purpose
language.  There is its future in my opinion.  However, this area is
much tougher, and you need a good GUI approach there.

> [...]
>>> [...] Could it be that that's what you really want - someone to
>>> distribute Python bundled with an enterprise-class GUI library
>>> and IDE?
>> Well, a nice thing to have, but besides my point.
> Then you seem to have missed some of your own points. C++
> succeeded without having a standard GUI library. You claimed that
> that success was because of a single distribution that included
> the things you are looking for. Why can't the same thing work for
> Python?

I just didn't say that it couldn't work.  But I don't think it'll
happen, that's all.


Torsten Bronger, aquisgrana, europa vetus

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