Python as Guido Intended

Mike Meyer mwm at
Thu Nov 24 18:01:05 CET 2005

Antoon Pardon <apardon at> writes:
>> The usual response is "That's not the Python way." That's not calling
>> someone dumb, just pointing out that they don't yet fully understand
>> the Python way.
> "That is not the Python way", is just saying "Python doesn't have it"
> in other words. So it can't be the answer to why python can't have
> something.

No, it isn't. At least, it isn't when I use it. A language is more
than just an accumulation of features. Well, a good language is more
than just an accumulation of features - there's a philosophy
underlying the language, that guides what features are added and what
features aren't. Other languages have other philosophies, and wind up
being good for other things.

When I say "That's not the Python way", I mean that such a feature
runs counter to my vision of Python's underlying philosophy. My vision
isn't perfect - I've changed my mind about things: I used to want real
macros, and I initially disliked list comprehensions. My vision
doesn't agree with the developers - notably including Guido's - a lot
of the time. On the other hand, they haven't done anything that
strikes me as so wrong that I want to spend the time required working
on Python rather than in Python to allow me to get it fixed.

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

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