Why "flat is better than nested"?

kj no.email at please.post
Mon Oct 25 21:11:28 CEST 2010


In <mailman.232.1288020268.2218.python-list at python.org> Steve Holden <steve at holdenweb.com> writes:

>On 10/25/2010 10:47 AM, rantingrick wrote:
>> On Oct 25, 5:07 am, kj <no.em... at please.post> wrote:
>>> In "The Zen of Python", one of the "maxims" is "flat is better than
>>> nested"?  Why?  Can anyone give me a concrete example that illustrates
>>> this point?
>> 
>> Simple. This commandment (endowed by the anointed one, GvR) is
>> directed directly at lisp and those filthy lispers. If you don't know
>> what lisp is then Google it. Then try to program with it for one hour.
>> Very soon after your head will explode from the nested bracket plague
>> and then you shall be enlightened!
>> 
>And everyone taking the Zen too seriously should remember that it was
>written by Tim Peters one night during the commercial breaks between
>rounds of wrestling on television. So while it can give useful guidance,
>it's nether prescriptive nor a bible ...

Well, it's pretty *enshrined*, wouldn't you say?  After all, it is
part of the standard distribution, has an easy-to-remember invocation,
etc.  *Someone* must have taken it seriously enough to go through
all this bother.  If it is as trivial as you suggest (and for all
I know you're absolutely right), then let's knock it off its pedestal
once and for all, and remove it from the standard distribution.

~kj



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