Mastering Python

Alex Martelli aleax at
Sat Mar 17 16:49:00 CET 2007

John Nagle <nagle at> wrote:
> >>Mastery and quickly are opposing terms <G> Took me 15 years on a job
> >>using FORTRAN 77 and I still wouldn't have called myself a master. (I'm
>     Python just isn't that complicated.  The syntax is straightforward,

Neither is/was Fortran 77, net perhaps of a few syntax quirks that were
easily avoided; yet few practitioners took the trouble (for example) of
learning what manners of data aliasing (e.g. between routine parameters
and/or data in COMMON blocks) were legal and which were not -- such a
simple rule (if you write data through an alias and read or write the
same memory through a different alias, you're breaking the rules of the
language and the compiler's free to make dragons fly out of your nose),
yet I've lost count of the number of times I've seen it broken during my
Fortran days (broken by professional programmers who used Fortran to
make a living and yet didn't care enough to know better, mind you -- I'm
not talking about accidental mistakes, which of course can easily happen
for a rule that the compiler need not enforce, but total ignorance of
this simple rule).


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