I suggested holding a "Python Object Oriented Programming Seminar", but the acronym was unpopular.

Joseph Strout, 28 Feb 1997

Strangely enough I saw just such a beast at the grocery store last night. Starbucks sells Javachip. (It's ice cream, but that shouldn't be an obstacle for the Java marketing people.)

Jeremy Hylton, 29 Apr 1997

A little girl goes into a pet show and asks for a wabbit. The shop keeper looks down at her, smiles and says: "Would you like a lovely fluffy little white rabbit, or a cutesy wootesly little brown rabbit?" "Actually", says the little girl, "I don't think my python would notice."

Told by Nick Leaton, 4 Dec 1996

When I originally designed Perl 5's OO, I thought about a lot of this stuff, and chose the explicit object model of Python as being the least confusing. So far I haven't seen a good reason to change my mind on that.

Larry Wall, 27 Feb 1997 on perl5-porters

PSA 1996 Budget --------------- Income: $1,093,276.54 'Guido for President' Campaign Contributions(1) $ 3.12 Milk Money Extortion Program $ 2,934.07 PSA Memberships ------------- $1,096,213.73 Total Income Expenses: $ 652,362.55 Monty Python Licencing Fees (2) $ 10,876.45 Pre-Release 2 Week Vacations (3) $ 369,841.59 Post-Release 2 Week Vacations (3) $ 15.01 Alien Abduction Insurance $ 62,541.72 Python Web Site Maintenance $ 554.65 Great Comfort Cream ------------- $1,096,191.97 Total Expenses $ (21.76) Total Profit (Loss) Notes: (1) Many of you many not be aware of the fabulously successful 'Guido for President' Campaign. While Guido has no interest in being the president, the PSA thought it would be a cool way to collect money. The centerpiece of the campaign featured an attractive offer to spend the night in Guido's spare bedroom in exchange for a $50,000.00 contribution. (Mark Lutz stayed TWICE!) (2) Since the proliferation of Monty Python related names (Python, Monty, Grail, Eric-the-Half-a-Compiler, et al.) has increased over the past year, the PSA felt it would be wise to licencing the Python name to forestall any lawsuits. An added benefit is that John Cleese is teaching Guido how to walk funny. (3) Pre-Release vacations are spent in the Catskills. Post-Release vacations are spent in the Bahamas. Guido is currently working on a system which will allow him to make more releases of Python; thus octupling the number of vacations he takes in a year.

Matthew Lewis Carroll Smith, 4 Apr 1997

I mean, just take a look at Joe Strout's brilliant little "python for beginners" page. Replace all print-statements with sys.stdout.write( string.join(map(str, args)) + "\n") and you surely won't get any new beginners. And That Would Be A Very Bad Thing.

Fredrik Lundh, 27 Aug 1996

Ya, ya, ya, except ... if I were built out of KSR chips, I'd be running at 25 or 50 MHz, and would be wrong about ALMOST EVERYTHING almost ALL THE TIME just due to being a computer! Think about it -- when's the last time you spent 20 hours straight debugging your son/wife/friend/neighbor/dog/ferret/snake? And they still fell over anyway? Except in a direction you've never seen before each time you try it? The easiest way to tell you're dealing with a computer is when the other side keeps making the same moronic misteakes over and misteakes over and misteakes over and misteakes over and misteakes over and misteakes CTRL-C again.

Tim Peters, 30 Apr 1997

BTW, a member of the ANSI C committee once told me that the only thing rand is used for in C code is to decide whether to pick up the axe or throw the dwarf, and if that's true I guess "the typical libc rand" is adequate for all but the most fanatic of gamers <wink>.

Tim Peters, 21 June 1997.

Things in Python are very clear, but are harder to find than the secrets of wizards. Things in Perl are easy to find, but look like arcane spells to invoke magic.

Mike Meyer, 6 Nov 1997

Indeed, as Palin has come to understand, being part of Python means never really knowing what may lurk around the corner. "We've never really followed any rules at all with Python," he said. "We're a spontaneous lot. It's more fun that way."

Michael Palin, quoted from a Reuters/Variety news item titled "Rare Python Reunion", Jan 15 1998.

Python is an excellent language for learning object orientation. (It also happens to be my favorite OO scripting language.)

Sriram SrinivasanAdvanced Perl Programming

The point is that newbies almost always read more into the semantics of release than are specified, so it's worthwile to be explicit about how little is being said <wink>.

Tim Peters, 12 Feb 1998

Ah! "Never mind" to a bunch of what I said before (this editor can't move backwards <wink>).

Tim Peters, 12 Feb 1998

After 1.5 years of Python, I'm still discovering richness (and still unable to understand what the hell Jim Fulton is talking about).

Gordon McMillan, 13 Mar 1998

Tabs are good, spaces are bad and mixing the two just means that your motives are confused and that you don't use enough functions.

John J. Lehmann, 19 Mar 1998

... but whenever optimization comes up, people get sucked into debates about exciting but elaborate schemes not a one of which ever gets implemented; better to get an easy 2% today than dream about 100% forever.

Tim Peters, 22 Mar 1998

I've been playing spoilsport in an attempt to get tabnanny.py working, but now that there's absolutely no reason to continue with this, the amount of my life I'm willing to devote to it is unbounded <0.9 wink>.

Tim Peters, 30 Mar 1998

Python is a little weak in forcing encapsulation. It isn't made for bondage and domination environments.

Paul Prescod, 30 Mar 1998

One of my first big programming assignments as a student of computer science was a source formatter for Pascal. The assignment was designed to show us the real-life difficulties of group programming projects. It succeeded perhaps too well. For a long time, I was convinced that source code formatters were a total waste of time, and decided to write beautiful code that no automatic formatter could improve upon. In fact, I would intentionally write code that formatters could only make worse.

Guido van Rossum, 31 Mar 1998

You need to build a system that is futureproof; it's no good just making a modular system. You need to realize that your system is just going to be a module in some bigger system to come, and so you have to be part of something else, and it's a bit of a way of life.

Tim Berners-Lee, at the WWW7 conference

From gotos to the evolution of life in 10 posts; that's comp.lang.python for you!

A.M. Kuchling, 4 Apr 1998

This is Python! If we didn't care what code looked like, most of us would probably be hacking in some version of Lisp -- which already covered most of Python's abstract semantics way back when Guido was just a wee snakelet frolicking in the lush Amsterdam jungle.

Tim Peters, 24 Apr 1998

The infinities aren't contagious except in that they often appear that way due to their large size.

Tim Peters, on the IEEE 754 floating point standard 27 Apr 1998

The "of course, while I have no problem with this at all, it's surely too much for a lesser being" flavor of argument always rings hollow to me. Are you personally confused by the meanings for "+" that exist today? Objecting to the variations is a different story; I'm wondering whether you personally stumble over them in practice. I don't; Steven doesn't; I doubt that you do either. I'm betting that almost nobody ever does, in which case those "less nimble colleagues and students" must be supernaturally feeble to merit such concern.

Tim Peters, 29 Apr 1998

"Ideally, IMO, two messages with the same name should have the same meaning but possibly different implementations. Of course, "meaning" is somewhat relative, but the notion that two messages with the same name should have the same 'meaning' is very useful." "Like clothes.launder() vs money.launder(), or shape.draw() vs blood.draw(), or matrix.norm() vs hi.norm() <wink>? I'm afraid English thrives on puns, and the same word routinely means radically different things across application areas. Therefore, to insist that a word have "one true meaning" in a programming language is insisting that the language cater to one true application domain."

Jim Fulton and Tim Peters, in a discussion of rich comparisons, 29 Apr 1998

Indeed, when I design my killer language, the identifiers "foo" and "bar" will be reserved words, never used, and not even mentioned in the reference manual. Any program using one will simply dump core without comment. Multitudes will rejoice.

Tim Peters, 29 Apr 1998

Too little freedom makes life confusingly clumsy; too much, clumsily confusing. Luckily, the tension between freedom and restraint eventually gets severed by Guido's Razor.

Tim Peters, 29 Apr 1998

In other words, I'm willing to see dark corners added to the language, as long as I don't have to go into them myself.

A.M. Kuchling, 29 Apr 1998

This argument is specious. What on earth would it mean to compare an object you created with another object from someone else's code unless you knew exactly what each object's semantics were? Do you really want to ask if my abstract syntax tree is less then your HTTP connection object?

Jeremy Hylton, in a discussion of rich comparisons, 29 Apr 1998


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