Leave the putdowns in the Perl community, the Python world does not need them

Magnus Lycka lycka at carmen.se
Fri Sep 29 18:33:02 CEST 2006


rdsteph at mac.com wrote:
> Steve makes a good point. Fredrik is one of the most important
> contributors of Python code, tools, etc and as far as I am concerned,
> that is so important that it gives him the right to be cranky from tiem
> to time.

Since February last year I've had the opportunity to write most of
my code in Python, in a very cool company with lots of bright people.
When I asked why they started to use Python here, it turned out that
a course held by a certain Fredrik Lundh was something of a turning
point... It seems that made them see the light.

I'm very thankful for that!

(As I understood it, the reason for the Python course, was actually
that some third party product used Python. I'm pretty sure we don't
use that product any longer, but we certainly kept Python.)

Today, we actually hold Python courses ourselves, for customers from
all over the globe (mainly big airlines).

In my opinion, the most important aspect of contributors to a forum
like c.l.py is signal/noise ratio. I much prefer competent but rude
remarks to friendly ignorance which just wastes my time.

Calling someone stupid might not be the most pedagogic or diplomatic
approach when an ignorant person fails to realize his limitations,
but it's understandable. Being so stupid is also understandable.

It's easy for reasonably smart people to find (perceived) flaws in
the reasonings of others, but with age I've learned that I can usually
learn a lot from others even if I feel that I can crush their arguments. 
There is usually something more behind their resistance to my ideas,
and if I manage to figure out what the real problem is, I can often
avoid getting into trouble...

The best discussions are the ones that make me change my mind about
something. Then I've grown. That's difficult if I let my ego be in
charge.

I guess you either need to be involved some fairly big, real world
development project where APIs are used by many people outside the
project, or alternatively read (and understand) any serious book on
software engineering, to really realize that changing public APIs
*is* a major issue. If you use Python more as a toy, and just write
snippets, it's difficult to imagine the cost of small API changes
for the big organizations who use the same APIs.



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