Definition of Pythonic?

Mark Wooding mdw at
Sat Apr 11 20:47:17 CEST 2009

John Yeung <gallium.arsenide at> writes:

> A couple of others have already mentioned the Zen of Python, available
> at the Python command prompt.  I would agree with that, but also add
> the caveat that none of the principles expressed there are hard-and-
> fast rules.

Indeed, I'd suggest that the very lack of hard-and-fast rules is typical
of the Python approach.

> The fact is, it's impossible to satisfy every principle in every
> situation.  To me, Python distinguishes itself for how well it
> balances all of them.  "Compromise" is a word that comes up a lot when
> talking about the design of Python.  To some, that has a negative
> connotation; to me, it's an inevitable consequence of being practical.

Agreed.  Then again, all language design is a compromise, between
factors like runtime efficiency, simplicity of implementation,
tractability of semantics (for various classes of users), supportability
by tools, and expressive power.  Python inhabits what seems to me to be
a particularly sweet spot on this rather complex landscape.

-- [mdw]

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