How to use Python well?

Westley Martínez anikom15 at
Sat Feb 19 12:10:01 EST 2011

On Sat, 2011-02-19 at 07:40 -0500, Roy Smith wrote:
> In article <slrnilv0ls.15e.grahn+nntp at>,
>  Jorgen Grahn <grahn+nntp at> wrote:
> > Some disagreement here. There are typographical features in
> > nroff/troff today which you don't get in web browsers: ligatures and
> > hyphenation for example.
> Saying that HTML doesn't have ligatures and hyphenation is kind of like 
> saying Python is a bad programming language because it doesn't come in 
> purple.
> Yes, n/troff does ligatures and hyphenation.  Are such things really 
> essential for an on-line reference manual?  The ligatures, clearly not, 
> since what most of us are talking about here are the plain-text 
> renditions you get with the on-line "man" output.
> Hyphenation?  I suppose it has some value for this kind of stuff, but it 
> can also be a pain.  What happens when you're grepping the man page for 
> "egregious" and can't find it because it got hyphenated?
> No, those are things you want for typesetting documents, not for 
> browsing on-line reference material.  And I can't imagine anybody using 
> troff for typesetting today.  I'm sure there are a few people who will 
> pop out of the woodwork insisting they do, but when it comes to 
> typesetting, "I want a tool, not a hobby".

But you can't seriously say that authoring HTML is effective. Sure,
outputting HTML is fine, but as for writing the source, troff, docbook,
sphinx, even TeX, etc, is superior to HTML simply because HTML was
designed for web pages and those others were designed specifically for
documentation (not TeX, but that's another story). I hate writing HTML,
it's a pain in the neck.

But anyways, I find it easier to simply type "man sigaction" than to
search around on google all day for a handful of facts and a truckload
of opinions, as do I find it easier to type "help(os.path)" than have to
open my browser, click on the python doc bookmark, search for os.path,
wait for the search results, and click on it. This is just what I find
easier though, and I think using tools that output HTML, groff, LaTeX,
etc should continued to be used.

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