[Tutor] Shelve del not reducing file size

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at btinternet.com
Fri Jul 27 21:04:04 CEST 2007

"Barton David" <David.Barton at nottingham.ac.uk> wrote

> I've learned to program with Python (and can hardly conceive of a 
> better
> language to be honest)- and I still think the core language is 
> great:
> elegant, easy to use and brilliantly documented.

Completely agree.

> But the more I explore the standard library and third party modules, 
> the
> more I run into trouble:

And again I completely agree. But its not just python, it's an endemic 
in Open Source projects, Python is far from the worst offender here. 
of people want to write code but not many want to be librarians and
technical authors! But if you come from the world of serious 
development tools (ie not the toy compilers etc sold by Borland and
Microsoft for PC development) then the chaos of the libraries and
documentation can be truly shocking. But that's why you pay
$10,000+ for a good C Unix or VAX/VMS compiler, and the same
again for the IDE to drive it... And you wanted a library for
financials/scientific/stats/numeric/graphics? That;ll vbe about the
same again... but the quality of the code and documentation will
be good and on a big project that makes it worth it.

But if you don't have the $50,000(*) or so that it would take to get 
Python delivers for free then you learn to put up with the bad
documentation and inconsistent libraries etc - or better still
volunteer to tidy it up! :-)

> I guess it's not Python's fault: I'm guess I'm just too stupid. But 
> I'm
> just getting really disenchanted. Sorry.

No not too stupid just expecting a bit much from something that
is ultimately an essentially "amateur"(**) tool.

(*)I just noticed your domain so you probably pay academic rates for
these things which are a good deal lower! (Although still more than
most univesities are willing to fork out for!)

(*)This is in the literal sense of 'done for fun not profit', it does 
suggest that the programmers are any way less skilful than
"professionals", quite the opposite is often the case.

Alan Gauld
Author of the Learn to Program web site

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