Attack a sacred Python Cow
fuzzyman at gmail.com
Sat Jul 26 00:08:20 CEST 2008
On Jul 24, 6:41 am, Jordan <jordanrastr... at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I'm a big Python fan who used to be involved semi regularly in
> comp.lang.python (lots of lurking, occasional posting) but kind of
> trailed off a bit. I just wrote a frustration inspired rant on my
> blog, and I thought it was relevant enough as a wider issue to the
> Python community to post here for your discussion and consideration.
> This is not flamebait. I love Python, and I'm not out to antagonise
> the community. I also realise that one of the issues I raise is way
> too ingrained to be changed now. I'd just like to share my thinking on
> a misstep in Python's guiding principles that has done more harm than
> good IMO. So anyway, here's the post.
> I've become utterly convinced that at least one criticism leveled at
> my favourite overall programming language, Python, is utterly true and
> fair. After quite a while away from writing Python code, I started
> last night on a whim to knock up some code for a prototype of an idea
> I once had. It's going swimmingly; the Python Image Library, which I'd
> never used before, seems quick, intuitive, and with the all the
> features I need for this project. As for Python itself, well, my heart
> still belongs to whitespace delimitation. All the basics of Python
> coding are there in my mind like I never stopped using them, or like
> I've been programming in this language for 10 years.
> Except when it comes to Classes. I added some classes to code that had
> previously just been functions, and you know what I did - or rather,
> forgot to do? Put in the 'self'. In front of some of the variable
> accesses, but more noticably, at the start of *every single method
> argument list.* This cannot be any longer blamed as a hangover from
> Java - I've written a ton more code, more recently in Python than in
> Java or any other OO language. What's more, every time I go back to
> Python after a break of more than about a week or so, I start making
> this 'mistake' again. The perennial justification for this 'feature'
> of the language? That old Python favourite, "Explicit is better than
It's damn useful for scoping. You can look in the body of your method
and tell whether you are accessing local variables or instance
I'm a great fan of self and I'm afraid you're flogging a dead horse on
Your point about rich comparison (at least the == != problem) is fair.
This one is fixed in Python 3 though I believe.
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