Python is readable

Evan Driscoll driscoll at cs.wisc.edu
Wed Mar 21 17:22:01 CET 2012


On 01/-10/-28163 01:59 PM, Steve Howell wrote:
> Code shouldn't necessarily follow the example of English prose, but it
> seems that English has had some influence:
>
>   1  push(stack, item) # Push on the stack the item
>   2  push(item, stack) # Push the item on the stack
>   3  stack.push(item)  # On the stack, push the item
>   4  stack item push   # On the stack, take the item and push it
>   5  item stack push   # Take the item and on the stack, push the
> former.
>   6  item push stack   # Take the item; push it on the stack.
>
> The first three ways are the most common ways of arranging the grammar
> in mainstream programming languages, and they are also the three most
> natural ways in English (no pronouns required).
>
> #1/2 are imperative.  #3 is OO.

In my opinion, people who make statements such as "#1/2 are imperative, 
#3 is OO" are missing pretty much the entire point of what OO is.

OO is much more about semantics and the way code is structured. The 
difference between #1/2 (especially #1, of course) and #3 is 
surface-level syntax only.

About the strongest statement you can make along those lines is that #3 
will allow you to do dynamic dispatch on the type of 'stack' while #1/2 
won't, but even that isn't true of course. For instance, CLOS will let 
you write '(push stack item)' (which is the direct analogy in that 
language to #1) and do even more powerful dynamic dispatch than what a 
language like C++, Java, or Python will let you do.

Evan



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