Python becoming less Lisp-like

Mike Meyer mwm at
Wed Mar 16 23:35:57 CET 2005

paul at (Paul Boddie) writes:

> Steven Bethard <steven.bethard at> wrote in message news:<f_ednc-jcPDIa6vfRVn-tg at>...
>> Certainly descriptors in the "wrong hands" could lead to confusing, 
>> unreadable code.  But Python is a "we're all adults here" language, and 
>> so we have to trust other coders to be responsible.
> The problem is as much about social dynamics as it is about
> responsibility. Introduce a cool new feature and there'll always be a
> minority who will use it in every situation, no matter how absurd; the
> problem arises when these unnecessary excursions into absurdity start
> to dominate the code you're using or maintaining.

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.

Mike Meyer <mwm at>
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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