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

Douglas Alan doug at
Fri Jun 15 21:05:24 CEST 2007

"Terry Reedy" <tjreedy at> writes:

> Try suggesting on a Lisp or Scheme group that having only one type
> of syntax (prefix expressions) lacks something and that they should
> add variety in the form of statement syntax ;-) Hint: some Lispers
> have bragged here about the simplicity of 'one way to do it' and put
> Python down for its mixed syntax.  (Of course, this does not mean
> that some dialects have not sneaked in lists of statements thru a
> back door ;-).

Almost all Lisp dialects have an extremely powerful macro mechanism
that lets users and communities extend the syntax of the language in
very general ways.  Consequently, dialects such a Scheme try to keep
the core language as simple as possible.  Additional ways of doing
things can be loaded in as a library module.

So, a language such as Scheme may have no *obvious* way of something,
and yet may provide excellent means to extend the language so that
many obvious ways might be provided.


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