[Tutor] Shelve del not reducing file size

Andreas Kostyrka andreas at kostyrka.org
Fri Jul 27 16:06:22 CEST 2007

Hash: SHA1

Barton David wrote:
> Sadly I can't think of a plan B, hence the frustration! Python, as far
> as I know, is as good as it gets. And I don't have the courage or the
> capability to improve it myself.
> So all I can really do is clasp my hands together and helplessly plead:
> "Won't Somebody, Please, Think of the Children!" 
> (Meaning struggling non-pro users like me, of course)
> As far as I'm concerned, the core language has matured to be elegant and
> terrificly newbie-friendly, but the extended functionality (the standard
> library) absolutely has not. It disappoints me that Guido and many other
> developers *seem* to be more concerned with strategies for revamping the
> former than they are with strategies for improving the latter. If Kay
> Schluehr, Paul Rubin and John Nagle are opposing this trend and being
> dismissed as 'carpers' then I fear Python has lost sight of the
> 'friendliness' it once seemed to aspired to. 

Stop. The standard library is not perfect, but it's better than what
many other languages come with. Second, you should not fear improving
stuff yourself, that's one of the benefits of Python that it's easy to read.

Furthermore, it's an unsolved problem. IMHO, learning a new language,
even something atypical (nonimperative) like Prolog takes seldom more
than 1-2 days. Learning the runtime environment/standard library/add on
libraries take at least a magnitude longer. Learning the idiomatic way
to do something takes again even longer.

Additionally, the language core is very very thought out, with glacial
enhancements. "Fixing" the standard library OTOH would involve renaming
and removing names, which would make huge collections of programs break.
Not a good thing :(


I know no language that beats this pattern.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kent Johnson [mailto:kent37 at tds.net] 
> Sent: 27 July 2007 14:11
> To: Barton David
> Cc: tutor at python.org
> Subject: Re: [Tutor] Shelve del not reducing file size
> If it's any solace, there is a small minority of Python users who agree
> with you. There *are* rough edges in the library modules and the library
> docs. The great majority of Python users seem to find them good enough
> and are pleased and amazed at what you can do with the batteries
> included. A minority find the warts, omissions and inconsistencies to be
> very frustrating, and not because they (the users) are dumb. IIRC some
> prominent carpers on comp.lang.python are Kay Schluehr, Paul Rubin and
> John Nagle.
> I'm curious, what is plan B? Do you have something better than Python to
> try? I guess the above-named people are still with Python because the
> benefits outweigh the warts.
> Kent
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