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

Paul Rubin http
Fri Jan 16 06:03:03 CET 2009


Michele Simionato <michele.simionato at gmail.com> writes:
> Or perhaps it is you who changed? I can only speak for myself, but
> when I first met Python (coming from Basic, Pascal, Fortran,
> Mathematica, Maple) it was the best language I could imagine.

I would say Algol 60 and Lisp were great languages the same way the
Burroughs B5500 or Dec PDP-10 were great computers.  Today, though, We
would only describe their greatness in historical terms, since
technology has advanced so much and we know better ways to do things
now.  All the languages were are using now, it seems to me, are pretty
far behind what PL researchers are working on.  But the stuff the
researchers are doing isn't that immediately useful to us, since
they're concentrating on academic results and aren't really in the
practicality business.  The gap between research and practice narrows
and widens over the general ebb and flow of advancing technology, and
I think it is wider than usual right now.  An exception to that might
be Haskell, which makes Python feel almost juvenile, but (despite the
amazing work that its aficionados are doing) it lacks somewhat in
practicality, in my opinion.

> Now Python is still the best language I can find, but it is no more
> the best I can imagine, because I know much more about programming
> than before. But I would say that's normal and even healthy.
> The best language is the one yet to be invented!

Right.  I think we are heading into a period of consolidation, where
the stuff currently in the ivory towers makes it into the hands of day
to day practictioners.



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