python adds an extra half space when reading from a string or list

rurpy at rurpy at
Sat Jul 6 00:40:38 CEST 2013

On 07/04/2013 06:09 AM, Antoon Pardon wrote:
> Op 03-07-13 19:11, rurpy at schreef:
>> On 07/03/2013 03:21 AM, Antoon Pardon wrote:
>>> Op 03-07-13 02:30, rurpy at schreef:
>>>> If your going to point out something negative about someone
>>>> then do so politely.  Ask yourself if you were pointing out 
>>>> incompetence to your boss (or anyone else where impoliteness
>>>> could have real consequences for you) if you would say, 
>>>> "you're incompetent." 
>>> And so we shift from no problem speaking bluntly or clearly
>>> to wording it in a way that wouldn't antagonize your boss
>>> too much.
>> As I pointed out, emotionally-loaded, judgmental language 
>> *is not* clear.
> Well that is true, but mostly in the trivial sense that
> language is rarely clear even when you are talking facts.

Its true in more than a trivial sense.

> When I meet someone new and I talk about my love of spaghetti
> and the other inivites me to the spaghetti evening the next
> day, that can turn out to be a big disappointment because
> when I talk about spaghetti, I mean a carbonarra while I
> was invited to a bolognaise-evening.

Of course there is some degree of uncertainty.  But that
uncertainty is relatively small when compared with the
range of possible food you might have been served had 
your evening's companion not specified "spaghetti".

Had he or she invited you to a really "delicious" meal
on the other hand, the uncertainty about the what 
"delicious" means would far greater.  Unless you know 
the person, "delicious" is so subjective as to have very
little meaning since its meaning varies between people
much more than "spaghetti" does.

Describing someone as "stupid", "incompetent", "a 
dick", etc has a similar high degree of subjectivity
and its meaning depends more on the sayer than on any 
objective attribute of the subject.

If you can tell me something objective about the subject,
then that may be helpful to me in deciding how to respond 
to him or her.  If you just spout subjective invective, 
then its just noise because I don't know enough about 
you to trust your judgment.  (Advanced technical python 
knowledge does not qualify one in judging other human 
beings.)  And since I'm reading the thread I have access 
to the same info you do, and can form my own subjective
opinion.  Judging other people is in my opinion a moral 
action that is too important to delegate or to do by just
going along with the crowd.

So such subjective, emotionally-loaded, judgmental responses 
provide little benefit to others, amplify whatever negative
tone was created by the troll and stimulate the troll.  The
only benefits are to you who gets to vent and argue, and a 
(hopefully few) voyeurs and fellow vigilantes who enjoy 
watching and joining in on that kind of flamage.

>>  And yes, I think "wouldn't antagonize your
>> boss" is not a bad heuristic for judging the politeness of 
>> your response.
> That may be true for you personnally, but you are unsufficiently
> clear for anyone else to be of any help. The problem is that
> when you wrote this, you had a specific kind of boss in mind [...]

No.  I originally wrote "your boss (or anyone else where 
impoliteness could have real consequences for you)."  I 
believe most people would read that as intended, some sort
of generalized authority figure, if not boss then maybe a
police officer, or a powerful politician that could quaff 
your permit application, or the touchy father of a woman 
you want to date, and not necessarily "Mr. Joel Davis,
my boss at this job at this moment and also my golfing 

> who would react in certain ways to certain kinds of treatment.
> However it would be extremely unlikely that other people
> would come up with the same idea of boss. And not everybody
> is in the same situation, some people can't afford to lose
> there job, others are in a less desperate situation, for
> some people their priority is their career, while for others
> it is the service to their clients. All these people are going
> to come up with wildly different answers.

The answers will presumably share a common characteristic:
the need to address the person with politeness and respect,
even when expressing disagreement with them.

>> Again I ask, what does his web site admin skills or lack
>> thereof have to do with python?
>> If you want to decline providing Python help to someone 
>> because you don't like some real-world behavior of the 
>> person, fine.  But when you attack him over it, and 
>> publicly engage in a long, noisy discussion here in 
>> which you trumpet your moral and technical superiority,
>> then you should not be surprised when the target takes 
>> offense and responds in kind.
>> If someone from Wikileaks posts here seeking Python help, 
>> should we engage in a long discussion about the morality 
>> of Wikileaks and how they aid US fugitives from justice?
>> How about someone who lets slip he's just been released 
>> from prison for child sexual abuse? 
>> How about someone who's writing software for bulk mailing?
>> How about someone who is writing membership management 
>> software for the American Nazi Party?
> Are you saying we should either help the person with his
> (python) problem or decline any help no matter how nefarious
> the goals he wants to accomplish or are you saying these
> examples are not serious enough so people should show some
> tolerance in these cases?

The former.

>>>> Please use non-emotional, neutral, factual descriptions
>>>> and only do so when it is actually relevant.  IOW, please 
>>>> resist your desire to "tell off" the poster -- it usually
>>>> just produces more responses in kind.
>>> This is often not workable. Limiting to factual description
>>> means that you often can't summarize a list of such factual
>>> descriptions into a conclusion. You can list 8 examples of
>>> someone betraying the trust of his customers but you can't
>>> summarize it into: "is/behaves untrustworthy to his customers,"
>>> even if all signs point to this person going to continue in the
>>> same vein.
>>> It is limiting yourself into pointing out all the trees
>>> without being allowed to call it a forest.
>> You can summarize while being polite and non-judgmental.
> Somethings are not expressable in a way that is acceptable
> to who you are talking too, simply because they find the
> fact or opinion to be hurtful/insulting in itself.

And so?  That someone may be hurt or insulted by a polite
reasoned response obviously does not mean that impolite
emotional flamage is better.  

>> You do not have state your belief on every off-topic 
>> inflammatory subject that happens to come up.
> So what do you suggest? That we simply let those who
> bring up an off-topic inflammatory subject, go on
> about it whithout challenge?

Yes, that's what "don't feed the troll" means. 

If you are going to come back with, that means we the group 
(or I the reader) acquiesce to whatever vile filth is posted
here, no it doesn't mean that.  It means that instead of 
highlighting it and encouraging more of it by responding
(which increases its credibility), its impact is minimized 
by the lack of attention it receives, and that in turn 
generally results in the miscreant leaving sooner rather 
than later.

If you are going to come back with, then the poster of vile 
filth will, unchallenged, just go on doing it.  No, experience
(although you dismiss it) shows that generally such people 
will get tired of being ignored and will move on.

And keep in mind that even if "everyone" here adopted a 
"don't feed the troll" ethic, trolls would not be greeted
with absolute silence -- there will always be enough non-
compliance that someone will tell off the troll.  The 
idea is that by promoting a "don't feed the troll" policy, 
there will only be one or two such responses followed by 
a couple of "don't feed the troll" posts followed by quiet
(except for the troll, who, getting no further responses,
to his trolling eventually gives up and seeks food elsewhere.)  

And in more complex cases like Nikos, whose posts are a 
mixture of trolling and requests for help, the trollish
part will be ignored as above and the help will or will
not eventually dry up as he wears out the patience of
those willing to help or learns to frame requests in
more helpable form.

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