Clarity vs. code reuse/generality

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Tue Jul 7 07:57:14 CEST 2009

On Tue, 07 Jul 2009 05:13:28 +0000, Lie Ryan wrote:

> When people are fighting over things like `sense`, although sense may
> not be strictly wrong dictionary-wise, it smells of something burning...

That would be my patience.

I can't believe the direction this discussion has taken. Anybody sensible 
would be saying "Oh wow, I've just learned a new meaning to the word, 
that's great, I'm now less ignorant than I was a minute ago". But oh no, 
we mustn't use a standard meaning to a word, heaven forbid we disturb 
people's ignorance by teaching them something new.

It's as simple as this: using `sense` as a variable name to record the 
sense of a function is not a code smell, any more than using `flag` to 
record a flag would be, or `sign` to record the sign of an object. If you 
don't know the appropriate meanings of the words sense, flag or sign, 
learn them, don't dumb down my language.


More information about the Python-list mailing list