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

Robert Kern robert.kern at
Wed Jun 20 22:40:05 CEST 2007

Douglas Alan wrote:
> "Terry Reedy" <tjreedy at> writes:

>> Which I obviously read and responded to by noting "And 3.0 may add a new 
>> generic function module to dispatch on multiple arguments and possibly 
>> predicates."
> So, that's great.  Python will once again adopt a wonderful feature
> that has been usable in Lisp implementations for 20 years now.  (This
> is a good thing, not a bad thing.  I just don't like so much the
> having to wait 20 years.)  The problem with Python's model is that you
> have to wait for a rather centralized process to agree on and
> implement such a feature.

No, you don't. Philip Eby has been working on various incarnations of generic
functions for some time now. The only thing new with 3.0 is that they may be
included in the standard library and parts of the rest of the standard library
may use them to implement their features. Implementing generic functions
themselves don't require anyone to convince python-dev of anything.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
 that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
 an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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