Macros in Python? (was Re: Python or Java or maybe PHP?)

Aahz aahz at
Tue Jan 3 16:44:37 EST 2006

In article <86zmmdf1hp.fsf at>, Mike Meyer  <mwm at> wrote:
>aahz at (Aahz) writes:
>> In article <1136285678.276857.268840 at>,
>> James <fphsml at> wrote:
>>>I keep asking myself why isn't this more popular especially when many
>>>prominent Python devs seem to be well aware of Lisp where macros are
>>>done right. 
>> You have confused "many Python devs" with Guido.  ;-)  Guido hates
>> macros.
>I vaguelly recall hearing that Guido thought about adding macros to
>Python, and rejected the idea because he didn't want users to have to
>deal with compile-time errors at run time. Or something to that
>That doesn't sounds like "hates" to me. More like "doesn't like the

The smiley applies to that whole bit.  Guido's main problem with macros
is that there's no clean way to integrate them into a language with
strong syntactical structure.  He also doesn't like the idea of splitting
Python itself into mini-languages (by adding new keywords).  He does have
a strong distaste for functional programming and sees macros as partly an
attempt to expand inappropriate usage of functional programming in

Plus your point, that probably covers most of it.
Aahz (aahz at           <*>

"Given that C++ has pointers and typecasts, it's really hard to have a
serious conversation about type safety with a C++ programmer and keep a
straight face.  It's kind of like having a guy who juggles chainsaws
wearing body armor arguing with a guy who juggles rubber chickens wearing
a T-shirt about who's in more danger."  --Roy Smith

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