What python can NOT do?

Nobody nobody at nowhere.com
Sun Aug 30 19:54:22 CEST 2009


On Sat, 29 Aug 2009 23:07:17 +0000, exarkun wrote:

>>>    Personally, I consider Python to be a good language held back by
>>>too-close ties to a naive interpreter implementation and the lack
>>>of a formal standard for the language.
>>
>>Name one language under active development that has not been harmed by a
>>formal standard.  (I think C doesn't count -- there was relatively little
>>development of C after the standards process started.)
> 
> I think you must mean "harmed by a formal standard more than it has been 
> helped", since that's clearly the interesting thing.
> 
> And it's a pretty difficult question to answer.  How do you quantify the 
> harm done to a language by a standarization process?  How do you 
> quantify the help?  These are extremely difficult things to measure 
> objectively.

For a start, you have to decide how to weight the different groups of
users.

For an application which is designed for end users and will be in a
permanent state of flux, dealing with revisions to the language or its
standard libraries are likely to be a small part of the ongoing
development effort.

For libraries or middleware which need to maintain a stable interface, or
for code which needs extensive testing, documentation, audits, etc, even a
minor update can incur significant costs.

Users in the latter group will prefer languages with a stable and rigorous
specification, and will tend to view any flexibility granted to the
language implementors as an inconvenience.




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