Modifying Class Object

Steve Holden steve at
Thu Feb 11 03:51:42 CET 2010

Alf P. Steinbach wrote:
> * Ethan Furman:
>> Steven D'Aprano wrote:
>>> Believe me Alf, the fact that people are taking the time to try to
>>> argue with you instead of just kill-filing you is a compliment.
>> It's a compliment I am not paying, although I am grateful to those who
>> are attempting to teach him.  At the rate it's going, though, I don't
>> see myself buying any book he produces.
>> Besides the arrogant attitude, he is wrong on so many things about
>> Python it is truly stunning.
> That's bullshit. I am probably wrong about many Python things, for this
> is so no matter the language and the practictioner, but not any that you
> know about.
So your accomplishments include mind-reading now, and you understand
everything that Stephen knows and does not know about? That's a
startling and, I suggest, untenable claim.
>>  He seems to have confidence born of ignorance... a scary sight to see.
>> In the spirit of being helpful and not just being a jerk myself:
>> Alf,
>> Using smileys after declaring somebody is mistaken/wrong/etc makes you
>> look bad.
>> Not attempting to learn the language makes you look like an arrogant
>> idiot (case in point: passing-by-object).
>> Accusing anyone and everyone that criticizes you of making ad hominem
>> (sp?) attacks makes you look like a whiner.
>> After all is said and done - if you had a truly good grasp of Python,
>> I might buy your book even if you still had -- ummm -- a less than
>> winning presence on the mailing list; but right now your understanding
>> is not worth paying for.
>> Hoping-this-helps-but-not-really-expecting-it-to-ly yours,
> It's yet another ad hominem attack, which means that you're painfully
> aware of supporting an untenable technical position, or supporting a
> clique of people.
So now the whole thing boils down to "Alf against the world"? The
reminds me of the story about the woman who went to see her son qualify
from his basic army training. When asked what she thought of the parade
she said it was very nice, but that "everyone but our Alf was out of step".

I am unsure at this stage what it would take to convince you that you
are not only wrong about several important aspects of Python but also
wrong-headed. Whenever anyone points out any aspect of your behavior
which is unacceptable or ignorant you trot out this accusation that
people are making "ad hominem attacks" as though commenting on aspects
of your personality is an attempt to undermine your arguments.

It isn't. The two are orthogonal. Your arguments are wrong *and* you are
behaving like a pratt. A change in either one of these aspects would
improve matters, but each seems as unlikely as the other.

> It also reflects rather badly on you.

Sigh. We're all out of step again, obviously.

Steve Holden           +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
PyCon is coming! Atlanta, Feb 2010
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