Interesting talk on Python vs. Ruby and how he would like Python to have just a bit more syntactic flexibility.

Steven D'Aprano steven at
Thu Feb 18 02:39:05 CET 2010

On Wed, 17 Feb 2010 17:04:00 -0800, Jonathan Gardner wrote:

> (What the heck is a procedure, anyway? Is this different from a
> subroutine, a method, or a block?)

The name is used in Pascal, which probably means it originated from 
Fortran or Algol. 

A subroutine is a generic piece of code which can be re-used by some 
unspecified mechanism (GOSUB in Basic, by calling it in most other 
languages). A function is a subroutine that returns a result, and a 
procedure is a subroutine that doesn't return anything (not even None, or 
the equivalent thereof) and operates entirely by side-effect.


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