[STORY-TIME] THE BDFL AND HIS PYTHON PETTING ZOO
rantingrickjohnson at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 22:26:19 EST 2016
[STORY-TIME] THE BDFL AND HIS PYTHON PETTING ZOO
A long, long time a ago, in a sleepy little Scandinavian
village, somewhere outside of Stockholm, a wee little boy
was born, who would one day become known as: "the BDFL". And
as all little boys love to do, he enjoyed frolicking around
the countryside in his wee little wooden shoes, picking
tulips for his mother, and taking rides on the arms of
nearby windmills. (oh, how cute!) And as he grew older, he
started to become interested in math and logic, and he
became fascinated with the power of software, yes, and he
*EVEN* dreamed of one day coding his own calculator app...
BUT THAT GROUND BREAKING APP WOULD HAVE TO WAIT,
FOR SOON, FATE WOULD INTERVENE!
One day, when he was basking in the warm Scandinavian summer
sun, surrounded by tall blades of grass blowing wistfully in
the wind, a snake slithered close by, and began speaking
"great things" into his ear. And the snake told him that
everything in the programming world was completely wrong.
And that the syntax had become nothing more than
obnoxious line noise, and that, "religious paradigm
fanaticism" was going to pollute, and eventually destroy,
the pristine "code wilds".
And he, being a wise lad, knew the snake was right!
So he listened contently, and he learned. And he fell deeply
in love with the snake, and the snake became his best, and
*ONLY*, friend. And for many years, he, and the snake,
developed a strong bond. And he swore that he would never
leave, or harm the snake. And as the boy grew into early
adulthood, a new and mysterious force began to shape his
world, and this new force was called "idealism". And his
idealism implored him to share the snake with the world, so
that *ALL* the children of the world might become
enlightened, by the wisdom of the snake.
SO HE OPENED A LITTLE PETTING ZOO,
AND HE DUBBED IT: "THE PSF".
And many children came from the far and wide, and they
would pet his snake, and they would play with his snake, and
they would learn from his snake's philosophy. And the
children became so happy with the his altruistic nature,
that they affectionately referred to him as their
"Benevolent Dictator For Life" (aka: BDFL). And so, the BDFL
was happy. He was happy because the children who came to his
petting zoo loved him, but most importantly, he was happy
that they never questioned his "petting rules", or the
philosophy of his snake.
And he became an instant worldwide celebrity. And was
interviewed by reporters, and documented in magazines. He
even became worshiped, yes, like a god, which caused his
pride to expand to new and dangerous levels. In fact, his
pride became so great, that in one interview, he snarky
dismissed the dangers of his snake's "wildly dynamic
behavior", and claimed that, he would be fully content
as a passenger in an airplane with his snake as the pilot...
MOST PETTING-ZOO OWNERS THOUGHT HE WAS NUTS,
BUT HE *REFUSED* TO RETRACT THE STATEMENT.
As time went on, a small "inner group of disciples" began to
develop around him. These disciples followed him everywhere.
A band of loyal sycophants, or "Umpa Lumpas" if you will,
who would blindly follow any demand he dictated, no matter
And he and his disciples became repulsed by the never ending
hordes of children who would visit the petting zoo, they saw
these "other children" as unclean, so they decided to create
two holy places called "Python-Ideas" and "Python-Dev"
(aka: the holy of holies), and they declared that, only
those who are willing to lick the BDLF's boots, may enter
these holy places.
Soon after, the BDFL took permeate refuge in these holy
places, and, from his rectory, he would sneer down at the
children below, and if any child dared to question his
motives, or broke one of his "petting rules", or even, did
not goose-step to his political ideology, he would call for
his minions to hurl furious rebukes at the visitor, and he
would ensure the child was banned from ever entering his
holy places. And although he could not prevent a child from
entering the petting zoo commons, he would loose his minions,
to pester and mock, the banned children, when they did visit.
And for the first two years, this is how the BDFL managed
his petting zoo. And although he was not happy, by most
people's standards, he found peace within his "little
BUT TROUBLE WAS SOON ON THE HORIZON...
Near the end of the 2nd year, of running his petting zoo, the
BDFL had become bored, because, even though the children of
the world had never lost interest in his snake, most of them
had lost interest in him, and since he was mostly absent
from the petting zoo, he became something of myth, even a
He realized, that he had become nothing more than an
amusement park owner, but what he *truly* craved was to
reclaim the close bond that he and the snake once shared.
Observing the pathetic state that his life had become, he
became very angry, and he realized that, if *HE* could not
have the snake, then by god, *NOBODY* would!
But there was a big problem, he could not simply close the
petting zoo, no, because if he did, not only would the world
hate him, the snake would hate him as well. So he devised a
plan, a wonderfully *evil* plan... later that night, while
the snake was sleeping, he meticulously glued razors and
nails to the skin of the snake, and when his evil deed was
finished, he grinned and said: "Let them pet you now, my
And sure enough, the next day, many children's hands became
injured when they "interfaced with the snake", and once word
got out, that the snake was not "child friendly" anymore,
the hordes of wide-eyed children, that once came in droves
to play and learn from the snake, stopped visiting.
The BDFL has gotten what he wanted,
but not what he bargained for!
Due to the rusty nails that were embedded into it's skin...
The snake suffers a severe tetanus infection, and dies.
Darkness again envelopes the "code wilds".
And syntactic noise pollutes the quiet hedge rows.
And the only consistency to be found...
Was of the foolish kind.
In the end, the BDFL realized that he got what he deserved.
Due to his jealousy, his divisiveness, or maybe, just a lack
of leadership skills, he had single handily destroyed what
was once a vibrant community of like-minded individuals. His
celebrity vanquished, and his petting zoo repossessed, he
was left a bitter, and broken man.
But what he lamented the most, was the destruction he
perpetrated against his best friend, his *ONLY* friend, the
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