Python as Guido Intended

bonono at bonono at
Thu Nov 24 03:12:42 CET 2005

Mike Meyer wrote:
> > I do think that the Python development community believes they do,
> > or more accurately, that if someone wants to use a different style,
> > they can go use something else.
> In other words, they believe that you should use a screwdriver to
> drive screws, and not a hammer. You apparently disagree with them.
That is the kind of argument I see all the time on this thread. It is
more appropriate to say that "I don't believe it is a screw, but
something else and don't want to use a screw driver with it".

> > I think that it is possible to include in Python, things that are
> > non-Pythonic (such as a return value from sort()) that allow users
> > more stylistic freedom, without degrading the ability of those who
> > don't want to use such features, to write in a pure Pythonic manner.
> So you think we can turn a hammer into a screwdriver without degrading
> the ability to use the hammer to drive nails. The problem is, doing
> this means you have a bigger, heavier hammer - which almost certainly
> degrades the ability to use it as a hammer.
And it follows through, first said it is a screw and since you
disagree, you are trying to do screwing with a hammer.

> Adding features makes the language processor bigger. With Pythons
> strong commitment to backwards compatibility, these are hard to get
> rid of. Further, while those of us who like the Pythonic style may not
> have to use them, that won't prevent us from having to maintain code
> that uses them.
> Now, I'm not against changing the language per se. But most language
> changes have deeper implications than are obvious at first
> glance. Even when they don't, I'd prefer that you get cases that make
> for significantly cleaner code without having major negative
> connotations. The first is why people ask for "use cases": they want
> to see a real-world example where the proposed change would make
> things cleaner or more readable, or otherwise better in some way. At
> the same time, the new feature should provide an abuse that's hard to
> read, or lead to code that is easily misinterpreted.
I am just curious that if the "should we have ternary" back then
creates similar arguments.

Based on what I have read for this few period of time on this group, it
is actually not people coming in complain loudly that "why can't Python
have this" kind of post, it usually was a neutral question because
either they come from another background, or they for whatever reason
expect things to work certain way, or they enjoy certain style. But
many times, the responses are toned in a way of "you dumb, you didn't
know that is the wrong way of doing it?", without explain why or with
convincing reasons.

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