Python becoming less Lisp-like

Antoon Pardon apardon at forel.vub.ac.be
Thu Mar 17 12:18:26 CET 2005


Op 2005-03-16, Jeff Shannon schreef <jeffshannon at gmail.com>:
> news.sydney.pipenetworks.com wrote:
>
>> More in relation to the original topic, why can't people just ignore 
>> features they don't understand and may never use directly. 
>
> Because they may get stuck maintaining code that uses those features. 

So? You may get stuck maintaining code in an other language.
Are you going to complain about the existence of different
languages too?

>   Now, I'm generally in agreement with you -- in general, Python 
> features that aren't straightforward (e.g. metaclasses) are clearly 
> advanced features and aren't likely to be in everyday code.  I'm okay 
> with just knowing that metaclasses exist, and having a vague idea of 
> how one would use them.
>
> But the more features that some people ignore, the more that they tend 
> to write in a customized dialect that's a subset of the full language. 
>   And the more people write code in their own personal (or group) 
> dialect, the more fragmented the worldwide codebase becomes, and the 
> harder it is to understand code that doesn't come from the circle of 
> developers who you're directly familiar with.

Well that will be a judgement call for all those people, just as
life is mostly acting on judgement call.

> It's true that a given programmer doesn't need to understand every 
> feature of the language, but it's not really fair to say "ignore it 
> and it won't affect you" -- there's still a cost associated with such 
> features that can't be ignored away.  In some cases that cost is well 
> worth bearing (as is the case for metaclasses and descriptors, 
> especially as these two examples are implementation artifacts that 
> would exist whether they were exposed to programmers or not), but in 
> other cases it won't be, so it's important to keep in mind that the 
> cost exists.

Well if in some cases the costs are worth bearing, don't bear them.
Move on and look out for an other language. Newbees often enough
get the advise that with the mindset they currently have, python
is not the language they are looking for and they would be happier
programming in an other language. Well maybe that can happen to
experienced programmers too. Maybe the language will evolve so
it no longer fits there mindset. Well too bad, such things happen.

-- 
Antoon Pardon



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