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

Douglas Alan doug at
Fri Jun 29 18:53:49 CEST 2007

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".  When I do code for Jython, I'd be using it to get to
Java libraries that would make my code non-portable to CPython, so
portability here seems to be a red herring.


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