Does Python really follow its philosophy of "Readability counts"?

Chris Rebert clp2 at
Sun Jan 11 22:31:22 CET 2009

On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 1:22 PM, Madhusudan.C.S <madhusudancs at> wrote:
>  I am sorry all I am not here to just blame Python. This is just an
> introspection of whether
> what I believe is right. Being a devotee of Python from past 2 years I
> have been writing only
> small apps and singing praises about Python where ever I go. I now got
> a chance to read
> Django's code for some reason. I have now strongly started feeling if
> Python really follows its
> "Readability Counts" philosophy. For example,
>    class A:
>    a = 10
>    b = "Madhu"

Those are class variables, not instance variables. There is a distinct
difference. Instance variables, in contrast, are "declared" and
created in the body of the __init__ method.

>    def somemethod(self, arg1):
>        self.c = 20.22
>        d = "some local variable"
>        # do something
>        ....
>    ...
>    def somemethod2 (self, arg2):
>        self.c = "Changed the variable"
>        # do something 2
>        ...
> In such situations, where the Instance variables come into existence
> only when they are used
> it is very difficult to track the flow of code. Its obviously not
> possible to remember what
> instance variable was defined where, when reading some substantial
> amount of code and where
> it was manipulated for that matter. It becomes so very frustrating
> even when reading a Class's
> code with just 6-8 methods and not more than 100-150 lines of code.

That's bad coding style on the part of the code writer.
Conditionally-existing instance variables are *evil*.


Follow the path of the Iguana...

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