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

Alex Martelli aleax at
Sat Jun 16 07:25:38 CEST 2007

Neil Cerutti <horpner at> wrote:

> On 2007-06-12, Antoon Pardon <apardon at> wrote:
> > On 2007-06-11, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at> wrote:
> >> More so than supporters of most other languages, in particular
> >> Scheme?
> >
> > Well to my knowledge (which could be vastly improved), scheme
> > doesn't have some Zen-rules that include something like this.
> >
> > I tried to google for similar remarks in relation to scheme but
> > I got no results. Maybe your google skills are better.
> It's in _The Revised^%d Report on Scheme_, Introduction:
>   Programming languages should be designed not by piling feature
>   on top of feature, but by removing the weaknesses and
>   restrictions that make additional features appear necessary.
> Of course, that was written well before Scheme had most of its
> current features.

The "Spirit of C" section in the preface of the ISO Standard for C
phrases this principle as "Provide only one way to do an operation".

Despite the phrasing variations, this commonality goes well with my
perception that, at their roots, Scheme, C and Python share one
philosophical underpinning (one that's extremely rare among programming
languages as a whole) -- an appreciation of SIMPLICITY AND UNIFORMITY as
language characteristics.


More information about the Python-list mailing list