Python's "only one way to do it" philosophy isn't good?

Jorgen Grahn grahn+nntp at
Wed Jul 4 17:11:24 CEST 2007

On Fri, 29 Jun 2007 12:53:49 -0400, Douglas Alan <doug at> wrote:
> Steve Holden <steve at> writes:
>> "Python" doesn't *have* any refcounting semantics.
> I'm not convinced that Python has *any* semantics at all outside of
> specific implementations.  It has never been standardized to the rigor
> of your typical barely-readable language standards document.
>> If you rely on the behavior of CPython's memory allocation and
>> garbage collection you run the risk of producing programs that won't
>> port tp Jython, or IronPython, or PyPy, or ...
>> This is a trade-off that many users *are* willing to make.
> Yes, I have no interest at the moment in trying to make my code
> portable between every possible implementation of Python, since I have
> no idea what features such implementations may or may not support.
> When I code in Python, I'm coding for CPython.  In the future, I may
> do some stuff in Jython, but I wouldn't call it "Python" -- it'd call
> it "Jython".

Yeah, especially since Jython is currently (according to the Wikipedia
article) an implementation of Python 2.2 ... not even *I* use 
versions that are that old these days!

[I have, for a long time, been meaning to post here about refcounting
and relying on CPython's __del__ semantics, but I've never had the
energy to write clearly or handle the inevitable flame war. So I'll
just note that my view on this seems similar to Doug's.]


  // Jorgen Grahn <grahn@        Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
\X/>  R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

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