[Types-sig] RE: [meta-sig] The Types-SIG is comatose. Let's retire it.

Jeremy Hylton jeremy@cnri.reston.va.us
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 12:33:55 -0500 (EST)

>>>>> "PP" == Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net> writes:

  PP> David Ascher wrote:
  >> Sounds quite a bit like JimH's proposal @ IPC7 (or was it 6?).
  >> He got booed, IIRC, but that was just an emotional reaction,
  >> methinks. =)

Jim's proposal was to extend Python with Java-style syntax and
semantics.  The Modula-3 fans cried foul.

  PP> <scowl> There is no non-trivial Python extension that will not
  PP> get booed.


  PP> While I'm ranting, the other problem new people have is the
  PP> whole reference/copy issue. Is there any language that has more
  PP> understandable (perhaps more explicit) semantics for that stuff
  PP> that we could steal for Py2?

I think Python's rules are pretty simple already!  I think newbies get
confused by the general design issue, rather than Python's semantics.

I read The Practice of Programming a few months ago and much
appreciated the discussion of resource (e.g. memory) management.  The
authors said: "One of the most difficult problems in designing the
interface for a library (or a class or a package) is to manage
resources that are owned by the library and shared by the library and
those who call it." (p. 103) Memory management issues, in particular,
don't simply disappear in garbage-collected languages.  The designer
still has to determine when to use copies and when to use shared
objects.  I don't think the language can do a lot more to help with
this issue except have clear semantics.