Python is readable

Steve Howell showell30 at
Fri Mar 23 03:42:20 CET 2012

On Mar 22, 10:44 am, Steven D'Aprano <steve
+comp.lang.pyt... at> wrote:
> On Thu, 22 Mar 2012 10:29:48 -0400, Nathan Rice wrote:
> Or at least before *I* black out. Even if somebody manages to write your
> meta-language, you're going to run into the problem of who is going to be
> able to use it. The typical developer knows three, maybe four languages
> moderately well, if you include SQL and regexes as languages, and might
> have a nodding acquaintance with one or two more.

Maybe I'm not the typical developer, but I think "three, maybe four"
is a very low estimate of the number of languages that the typical
developer confronts in his lifetime.  Just in the last couple weeks
I've looked at code in all these languages:

  Shell (bash)
  Regex (three variants--bash, Python, PHP)
  awk (albeit trivially)
  SQL (two variants--MySQL and Hive)

With the exception of awk, I know all of the above languages in some
depth, way beyond a "nodding acquaintance."  I'm not taking any sides
on the meta-language debate in pointing this out; I'm merely
suggesting that we do live in a bit of a Tower of Babel.  I'm only
arguing with the numbers in your premise; maybe even if you
underestimate the number of languages that typical devs consume in
2012, you could still draw the same valid conclusions overall with a
slightly more accurate estimate.

> There are a huge number of incompatible programming languages because
> language designers have different requirements, preferences, and styles;
> and because the state of the art of language design is very different in
> 2012 than it was in 1962.

Do you think we'll always have a huge number of incompatible
programming languages?  I agree with you that it's a fact of life in
2012, but will it be a fact of life in 2062?

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