New Python 3.0 string formatting - really necessary?

Steve Holden steve at
Mon Dec 22 17:57:27 CET 2008

walterbyrd wrote:
> On Dec 21, 12:28 pm, Bruno Desthuilliers
> <bdesth.quelquech... at> wrote:
>> Strange enough,
>> no one seems to complain about PHP or Ruby's performances...
> A few years back, there was a certain amount of chest thumping, when
> python/django easily beat ror in a benchmark test. Now that ruby is
> faster, I guess speed is no big issue.
A fairly limited amount of chest-thumping, as I remember it.

> By the same reasoning, python advocates used to sneer at php because
> php constantly broke backward compatibility. Now that python does it,
> breaking backward compatibility is no big deal. I guess unicode
> support was not that important, until python caught up to perl.
Python advocates shouldn't sneer at other languages. There's no need. If
you like Python, use it because of its merits, not because it's better
than something else.

Having said which, I must say that Python's "breaking backward
incompatibility" is of a somewhat different nature than (say) Visual
Basic's. It was known about for *several years* in advance, even before
Guido went to work for Google and finally had time to get the work
underway. Also it's defined to be a singular event, not a continuous set
of creeping changes. Python 3's updated syntax now constrains the
developers in the same way that Python 2's used to.

I wouldn't say that could remotely be described as "constantly" breaking
backward compatibility.

> I guess, the way it works is: you first assume that python is
> superior, then you figure out why.
That's the way some people operate, but by no means all. Is it the
language or the people that are pissing you off. You sound a little
discontented for a reader.

Steve Holden        +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC    

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