Cult-like behaviour [was Re: Kindness]

Ian Kelly ian.g.kelly at gmail.com
Sat Jul 14 11:00:35 EDT 2018


On Sat, Jul 14, 2018 at 3:12 AM Christian Gollwitzer <auriocus at gmx.de> wrote:
> Typical conversation on this list / newsgroup:
>
> Q: "I could need a ?: operator just like in C. Is there something like
> that in Python?"
>
> A1: "No. You don't want it. It makes the code confusing. You said, you
> have a problem, you tried ?: - now you have two problems."
>
> A2: "Are you crazy? You want to make Python like Java?"
>
> A3: "Guido left it out for a reason. Guido's time machine has seen that
> in 5 years you'll wonder what the hell ?: means"
>
> A4: "?: is unpythonic, because there is already One Obvious Way To Do It"
>
> --------- in the meantime, PEP 308 passes ------------
> A1: "Oh, nice, Python has invented a new feature! We're the leading edge
> in language development!"
>
> A2: "All hail to Guido. In 5 years, you'll ned that, and then His
> Time-Machine has struck again!"
>
> Q: "But isn't this the same as ?: in Java or C?"
>
> A3: "Never. There is a HUGE difference! ?: is sooo confusing. But a if c
> else b, look, the order is reversed. This is much more natural! And not
> strange punctuation, English words. Python is executable pseudocode!"

I think you're conflating dissenting voices. When the debate period
ends and a feature gets adopted, the people who were opposed to it no
longer have much reason to talk about their opposition (the ship has
sailed). Meanwhile, the people who like the feature and are now able
to start using it are more likely to bring it up, e.g. as the solution
to a problem. So it's natural that the overall tone of the community
shifts while individual opinions might not. And of course, sometimes
people might change their opinion as a result of actually using the
feature.

I think we all can name things we don't like about Python. For
example, you're not likely to ever convince me that piggybacking
coroutines onto generators was anything but a terrible hack that
results in added complexity and leaky abstraction now that the feature
has been stretched even further into an async framework. I don't see
much point in arguing about it though since it's highly unlikely to
change.


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