Cult-like behaviour [was Re: Kindness]

Jim Lee jlee54 at
Sun Jul 15 19:22:17 EDT 2018

On 07/15/18 16:13, Chris Angelico wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 16, 2018 at 9:08 AM, Jim Lee <jlee54 at> wrote:
>> On 07/15/18 14:50, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:
>>> Jim Lee <jlee54 at>:
>>>> Yes, and for *that*, language matters;  but, for a vast array of
>>>> programming tasks that *don't* involve global communications, it's an
>>>> added level of complexity with zero benefit.  It would be *nice* to be
>>>> able to turn support on or off, depending on the requirements of the
>>>> individual program or, better yet, be able to simply ignore the
>>>> feature(s).
>>> Can you illustrate your point with some lines of Python code?
>>> Marko
>> Python3 is intrinsically tied to Unicode for string handling. Therefore, the
>> Python programmer is forced to deal with it (in all but trivial cases),
>> rather than given a choice.  So I don't understand how I can illustrate my
>> point with Python code since Python won't let me deal with strings without
>> also dealing with Unicode.
> When a Python program works with integers, the programmer isn't given
> the choice of being restricted to machine words, but is forced to have
> the freedom to use any integer at all (bignums). There are very rare
> situations where you actually want integer wrap-around, and those have
> to be implemented using modulo arithmetic or similar. This is
> generally considered to be the correct trade-off, since those
> situations are usually fairly low-level anyway (implementing an
> algorithm originally spec'd up in C).
> Provide a single example of something where the freedom to use all of
> Unicode in text handling is actually a bad thing.
> ChrisA

You've turned my argument upside down by redefine terms mid-stream. Now, 
using Unicode is a "freedom" rather than a restriction.  You've also 
introduced a straw-man argument by introducing integers as a parallel 
analogy (which it isn't - integers are language agnostic).

There's no point in debating when the target keeps changing.


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