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

Rhodri James rhodri at
Sun Jan 25 02:57:56 CET 2009

On Sun, 25 Jan 2009 00:31:14 -0000, Tim Rowe <digitig at> wrote:

> 2009/1/24 Rhodri James <rhodri at>:
>> My experience with medium-sized organisations (50-100 people) is that
>> either you talk to Fred directly, or it doesn't happen.  In particular
>> the more people (especially PHBs) that get involved, the slower the
>> change will come and the less like your original requirement it will
>> look.  Each person, no matter how technically adept, has a significant
>> chance of misunderstanding what it is you need and/or expressing it
>> poorly to the next person in line.
> So you talk to Fred, and he changes the "pong" library function to go
> "ping", as you wish. Unfortulately, neither of you know that Alice is
> depending on Fred's "pong" library function to go "pong" as specified,
> and is totally stuffed when he delivers it and it goes "ping". That's
> why changes to specifications need to go through a proper
> specification change procedure if the team (not the organisation) is
> more than a few people.

And, not coincidentally, why specification will take at least twice as
long as you thought humanly possible, and any implementation you do
before it's complete will probably have to be thrown away.  The
productivity of a team large enough that they don't all talk to each
other anyway drops quite dramatically as one consequence of this.

This also assumes that the "proper specification change procedure"
works, which seems to be a bit on the optimistic side in many cases.

But we digress.

Rhodri James *-* Wildebeeste Herder to the Masses

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