Python's "only one way to do it" philosophy isn't good?
tjreedy at udel.edu
Wed Jun 20 19:18:05 CEST 2007
"Douglas Alan" <doug at alum.mit.edu> wrote in message
news:lck5tzfri4.fsf at gaffa.mit.edu...
| I think you are missing the point. Sussman is making a broad criticism
| engineering in general, as it is understood today.
On the contrary, I understood exactly that and said so. *My* point is that
in doing so, he made one jab at one specific language in a herky-jerky
footnote (a sentence on systems design philosopy, one on Python, one on
physics) that I consider to be at least misleading. And so I feel the
essay would be better without that wart.
| > So Python seems to have the sort of flexibility that he implicitly
| > claims it does not.
| For instance, one of the things that he talks about
| exploring for more robust software systems is predicate dispatching,
| which is an extension of multiple dispatch.
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
| Although you might be
| able to cobble something like this together in Python, it would end up
| being very cumbersome to use.
Well, talk about shooting down innovations before they happen. Perhaps you
could wait and see what Eby and others come up with in the next year.
[from your other post]
| A good multimethod system, e.g., would make Python a significantly
| nicer language for my purposes, for instance.
Or better yet, read http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-3124/
(tentatively approved by Guido, pending actual code)
and perhaps some of the discussion thereof on the Python-3000 dev list and
help design and code something that would be at least usable if not 'good'.
| > The general problems of software inflexibility that he mentioned in
| > a previous section have nothing specific to do with Python.
| Right. And he never said they did.
And I never said that he said that they did. He just dropped in a formally
awkward and contentually untrue dig at Python, and only Python, that I
think should be removed.
| You didn't read the paper very carefully.
Because I don't agree with you? Because reading the paper did not much
change my original response to the original poster's request for responses
to the footnote?
I read more than carefully enough to confirm and extend my opinion that the
footnote is a wart that detracts from an otherwise interesting paper.
| He things, for instance, that predicate dispatching,
| backtracking, and first-class continuations will be required.
Yes, I read and understood that. But learning this did not change my
opinion of the bad form and bad content of the footnote.
|The essay in questions was written for a graduate-level MIT
|computer science class that aims to explore potential avenues of
|research into new languages and approaches that encourage and
|facilitate more robust software systems.
Thanks for the additional context. But this still does not change my
negative opinion of the footnote. In fact, it only strengthens it in that
I think the footnote detracts from this aim.
Terry Jan Reedy
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