Why no warnings when re-assigning builtin names?

Philip Semanchuk philip at semanchuk.com
Tue Aug 16 18:32:52 CEST 2011

On Aug 16, 2011, at 12:19 PM, Ethan Furman wrote:

> Philip Semanchuk wrote:
>> On Aug 16, 2011, at 11:41 AM, Ethan Furman wrote:
>>> Philip Semanchuk wrote:
>>>> If we are to eschew warnings in
>>>> cases where they might be highlighting something harmless, then we would
>>>> have no warnings at all.
> >>
>>> Sounds good to me.  ;)  Keep such things in the IDE's, and then those
> >> who desire such behavior can have it there.  Do not clutter Python with
> >> such.
>> You wink, yet you sound serious. 
> The smiley is an attempt to not sound harsh.

Thanks. It's hard to know on the Internet.

>>> I don't see that as a problem that Python needs to solve.
>> "need" is a strong word. Python will be fine regardless of whether this changes
> > or not. I believe Python could be improved; that's all I'm arguing.
> Python can be improved -- I don't see 'hand-holding' as an improvement.  IDEs and lints can do this.

When you say "hand-holding", I hear a pejorative. That makes "I don't see 'hand-holding' as an improvement" a tautology. Have I misheard you?

I think Python does lots of beneficial hand-holding. Garbage collection is a good example. $DIETY knows, people have been struggling with manual memory management in C and its ilk for a long time. Even though there are good tools to help, memory leaks still happen. Python increases our productivity by allowing us to forget about manual memory management altogether. I can do it with tools like valgrind, but Python's makes the point moot. Is that hand-holding? If so, I'm all for it.


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