Ever want to unwrite something?

In my last post, I kinda ranted about python development. I thought that I was being constructive and presenting a well thought out point-of-view, but it wasn’t really. There were probably some ideas in there somewhere, but I forgot a couple important actions in writing. I did not research the topic of Python 3000 very well, and I did not think about rational reactions to my “arguments”.

I think that I was wrong.

If you didn’t read it, the just of the post was that development of the Python language should stop. The real reason I felt this way is because I’ve been reading about Perl 6 lately. I love Python, and I was scared to think of it going down the same road. Since then, I’ve thought about language development in general, and I’ve watched a presentation by Guido about Python 3000 (which I will probably see again this weekend at “VanPy”).

Programming languages do need to develop and evolve. Mistakes are made, new alternatives are developed, and things need to be fixed. Python 2.4 is a better environment for developing software than Python 1.5 was, and Python should continue to improve. There will likely be some growing pains. Maybe a feature I like will get chopped from the language. But it’s not the end of the world. I look forward to seeing the future of Python – don’t ever go Perl 6 on me, please.

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2 Comments on Ever want to unwrite something?

  1. Michael P. Soulier
    2006/07/31 at 8:12 am (11 years ago)

    I don’t know, I find that I agreed with a lot of what you had to say. I find that programmers just can’t leave a good thing alone. Most of the things that I’d change in Python are quite small things.

    Lately I’ve been torn between Python and Ruby, due to Ruby’s philosophy of “make the programmer happy”. As a programmer, I like that philosophy, and Python doesn’t always make me happy, from assumptions that I want newlines automagickally added to my print statements to lists having a pop() method but no push().

    It the end, I find it’s the little things that add up to something that is finally annoying enough to go somewhere else. If the Ruby docs ever improve from their currently abyssmal state, I’ll be very tempted.


  2. Paul Boddie
    2006/07/31 at 1:21 pm (11 years ago)

    I also agree with what you said, although perhaps due to reasons opposed to those given by Michael (I’d rather not have a dozen synonyms for the same method, nor have libraries encouraged to monkeypatch built-in classes), and I’d rather see attention spent elsewhere in the Python distribution instead of trying to emulate dubious “design wins” of other languages. Meanwhile, it does appear to outsiders that the core developers have forgotten the Bell Labs “proverbs” about language and library design: that an expressive language is essential, but the existence of a mature-but-relevant, standard (and standardised) library makes the language more appropriate and attractive for many kinds of potential user.