defining the behavior of zip(it, it) (WAS: Converting a flat list...)

Steve Holden steve at
Thu Nov 24 22:36:08 CET 2005

rurpy at wrote:
> "Fredrik Lundh" <fredrik at> wrote:
>>rurpy at wrote:
>>>>the thing that's in favour is "then-if-else", not "if-then-else".
>>>Sorry if I confused you, I though it was clear that I meant the
>>>concept, not a specific syntactical implementation.
>>yup, but if you care readability about, the words order appear in
>>would to seem matter too.
> Yes, order does matter.  Which is why I chose the order I
> did.  Anyone familiar with programming (including Python
> programmers) will understand what an "if-then-else" statement
> and expression are.  The term "then-if-else" will make sense
> only to people who use Python and are familiar with the
> twists and turns of the PEP-308 debate.  Why would I choose
> to intentionally restrict the audience of my post when there
> is no need to?  (That this is a Python newsgroup read by
> Python users is not relevant.  Other people read it too.)
> It is very interesting I think, because this is the core of my
> complaint about Python.  Python seems unwilling to adapt
> to any unapproved styles, even when it could do so at
> little cost.  Like you, it prefers targeting a narrow(*)
> audience willing to adopt the "one true programming style"
> even when it could appeal to a wider audience.
Now, see, that's the thing. The more ways there are to write the same 
program, the harder any given program will be to understand.

This is indeed a fairly deliberate approach in the Python world, and 
contrasts with languages where readability is low because of the 
multiple different ways of expressing the same idea.

> That you extend this Python philosophy even to english
> and newsgroup posting is fascinating...
I think Fredrik was trying to make a point about the need to be accurate 
in discussing language features, but I could be wrong.

> (*) I mean narrow in their view of what constitutes good
> style, not narrow or small in numbers.
Steve Holden       +44 150 684 7255  +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC           
PyCon TX 2006        

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