What Python looks like

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at benfinney.id.au
Tue Aug 5 00:20:18 CEST 2008

iu2 <israelu at elbit.co.il> writes:

> I'm curious, what did Python code look like to those of you who have
> seen a bunch of Python code for the first time before knowing Python?

To me it looked like the pseudo-code used for describing algorithms,
allowing clear understanding and redesign of the algorithm before
adding all the cruft "necessary" to make a real program from it.

I was very impressed, therefore, that program code could be so clear
and readable, and yet require so little computer-friendly cruft.

> (I can tell, for example, that seeing perl for the first time looked
> like C with many $$$, I could see "if" and "for" and "while" but they
> were meaningless.

Being already familiar with Bourne-style shell programs, Perl just
looked to me like an even-more-baroque version of Bourne shell syntax.
Not surprising, since that was one of its main inspirations.

> Or Lisp for the first time looked like many words, no operators, how
> could that make a program???)

I had no referent with which to compare Lisp when I first saw it. I
did wonder "if the program is so nicely indented anyway, why are all
these parentheses necessary?" That was many years before I encountered
Python :-)

 \          “I see little commercial potential for the Internet for at |
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_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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