Guido rethinking removal of cmp from sort method

geremy condra debatem1 at
Sun Apr 3 02:22:14 EDT 2011

On Sat, Apr 2, 2011 at 4:01 AM, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:
> On Fri, 01 Apr 2011 18:22:01 -0700, geremy condra wrote:
> [...]
>>>> I don't have a horse in this race, but I do wonder how much of Python
>>>> could actually survive this test. My first (uneducated) guess is "not
>>>> very much"- we would almost certainly lose large pieces of the string
>>>> API and other builtins, and I have no doubt at all that a really
>>>> significant chunk of the standard library would vanish as well. In
>>>> fact, looking at the data I took from PyPI a while back, it's pretty
>>>> clear that Python's feature set would look very different overall if
>>>> we applied this test to everything.
>>> I don't understand what you mean by "this test".
>> I mean testing whether a feature should be in Python based on whether it
>> can meet some undefined standard of popularity if implemented as a
>> third-party module or extension.
> [...]
>> Granted, but I think the implication is clear: that only those features
>> which could be successful if implemented and distributed by a third
>> party should be in Python.
> Ah, gotcha.
> I think you're reading too much into what I said -- I wasn't implying
> that community support is the only acceptable reason for the existence of
> features in Python.
> Development of Python is not a democracy, it is a meritocracy. It is
> designed by a small team of language developers, starting with Guido van
> Rossum. Those who do the work decide what goes in, based on whatever
> combination of factors they choose:

I think we're talking at cross purposes. The point I'm making is that
there are lots of issues where popularity as a third party module
isn't really a viable test for whether a feature is sufficiently
awesome to be in core python. As part of determining whether I thought
it was appropriate in this case I essentially just asked myself
whether any of the really good and necessary parts of Python would
fail to be readmitted under similar circumstances, and I think the
answer is that very few would come back in. To me, that indicates that
this isn't the right way to address this issue, although I admit that
I lack any solid proof to base that conclusion on.

Geremy Condra

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