Python 3.0 migration plans?

TheFlyingDutchman zzbbaadd at
Fri Sep 28 19:24:46 CEST 2007

On Sep 28, 9:30 am, "Diez B. Roggisch" <de... at> wrote:
> > You said it was a most basic language feature. I still haven't heard
> > anything that leads me to believe that statement is correct. What
> > languages implemented decorators as a most basic language feature?
> I was talking about Python, the programming language that is discussed in
> this NG
> > Python didn't have them for over a decade so it doesn't qualify.
> Says who? For further comments, see below.

I had the impression you were saying it was a basic language feature
of most languages. In any event Guido Van Rossum didn't include them
for over a decade. If he felt they were a basic language feature it
seems that he would have included them in 1991.

> >> >> Maybe you should start using python more and _then_ start discussions
> >> >> about it's features, when you have good grounds and can provide viable
> >> >> alternatives? But I guess that's a wish that won't be granted....
> >> > static and abstract keywords would seem to be very viable
> >> > alternatives. Viable enough that several language designers used them.
> >> As I said - you don't get it. The decorators (in conjunction with the
> >> descriptor protocol - ever heard of that?) are very powerful yet lead as
> >> an artifact to simple, declarative implementations of features you like,
> >> namely static and abstract methods.
> > You said I had to provide a viable alternative. I did that. I haven't
> > heard of the descriptor protocol.
> Where did you do provide that alternative?

def static
def abstract

I was not providing an alternative for decorators.

> > One of the problems with "getting" decorators is that they are not in
> > older books at all and newer books like Beginning Python from Novice
> > to Professional (c) 2005 Magnus Lie Hetland, that I own, devote almost
> > nothing to them. Out of 640 pages they are only mentioned
> > in one paragraph that is in a section titled "Static Methods and Class
> > Methods",(and followed by a class example with @staticmethod and
> > @classmethod).
> > So it seems like Magnus Lie Hetland didn't think they were very
> > important and he had Professional in his book title.
> I consider "core features of a language" the features that are part of the
> specification and implementation. Neither do I care if there is anecdotal
> evidence of prior usage in other languages, nor who or who not thinks they
> are important enough to be dealt with in a book.

By that definition isn't anything that is part of a language a core
feature?  Weren't we talking about basic features?

> And above all, I don't consider the time things have been around _without_
> any feature as proof of their irrelevance - or do you consider cars being
> not core to western culture because they only have been around about 100
> years, whereas horses have been there for thousands of years? Happy riding,
> cowboy!

A relevant analogy would talk about a feature of cars that was not on
them in the beginning but has been added later and whether it was a
basic (or now, core) feature. Your definition of core feature given
above means that anything on a car when it comes out of the factory is
a core feature.

> Python 2.4 has been released in 2003, btw - so decorators are around for 4
> years now.
> So unless you come up with a definition of "core feature of a language" that
> someone respectable in the CS-community wrote that features "time being
> around" or "random book authors consider worthy" or "persons lacking the
> motivation to really dig into do finally get it", I consider your
> definition worthless. Agreed?

Since you defined a core feature (haven't seen your definition of a
basic feature) as anything in the specification or implementation, I
agree that it makes sense for you to disregard anything that limits
core features to something less than everything.

> >> Besides, those 'several language designers' seem to think that the
> >> introduction of keywords isn't enough, but a general purpose annotation
> >> scheme seems to be viable - or how do you explain e.g. JDK 1.5
> >> Annotations?
> > I certainly wouldn't call them a basic language feature. Java 1.0 came
> > out in January 1996, Java 1.5 in September 2004. It doesn't appear
> > that the language designer of Java, James Gosling, is still at the
> > wheel or BDFL. But yes, Java is showing signs of "complexity creep".
> > You'll be happy to know that I really dislike the C++ template syntax
> > and Java has decided to add something similar.
> Again, your anecdotal language feature definition is nonsense.
> By the way, considering generics and C++-templates as "something similar"
> shows the inclined beholder that there are other languages out there you
> don't really understand.

For me understanding is all I can hope to attain. Really understanding
is something I must yield to the corps d'elite.

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