Python becoming less Lisp-like

Jeremy Bowers jerf at
Wed Mar 16 21:56:23 CET 2005

On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 16:35:57 -0600, Mike Meyer wrote:
> The real problem is that newbies won't know which features are "meta"
> features best left to experts, and which features are ok for everyday
> programmers to use.
> We recently saw a thread (couldn't find it in google groups) where
> some was trying to write decorators that would add a variable to a
> functions local namespace. When they actually stated the problem, it
> was a problem trivially solved by inheriting behavior, and that OO
> solution was what the OP finally adopted. But most of a week got
> wasted chasing a "solution" that should never have been investigated
> in the first place.

This isn't a new problem, and I'm not convinced it even makes it worse.
We (speaking broadly) have had to ask "No, what is it you are trying to
*do*?" for a long time. Whether the 'newbie' is reaching for decorators to
add a variable, trying to use lambdas to print, or trying to use XML-RPC
to make calls to local functions, the newbie who is going to ask "How do I
do this wrong thing?" isn't going to be affected either way by the
addition or removal of metaclasses, or much of anything else.

Is this arguable? Yes, absolutely, and I think none of us have the data
to prove this one way or the other. But a priori it is not obvious that
adding a few more possible mistakes to the already effectively infinite
set of them is necessary going to trap anybody who wasn't going to get
trapped on something else.

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