Discussion on some Code Issues

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info
Mon Jul 9 14:24:01 CEST 2012

On Mon, 09 Jul 2012 18:41:28 +1000, Chris Angelico wrote:

> Does it really hurt to anthropomorphize 

Don't anthropomorphise computers. They don't like it when you do.

> and say that "Python looks for
> modules in the directories in sys.path" instead of "Module lookup
> consists of iterating blah blah blah yadda watermelon yadda blah".

I don't think so, I often talk about Python looking for files myself. The 
intentional stance is an incredibly powerful technique for understanding 
behaviour of all sorts of entities, sentient or not, from DNA to 
computers to corporations, and even people.

But it does depend on context. Sometimes you need more detail than just 
"Python looks". You need to know precisely *how* Python looks, and how it 
decides whether it has found or not. 

And note that I'm still using the intentional stance.


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