Re: Python's future bright?

Jeff Bone (
Fri, 25 Jun 1999 04:06:32 -0500

Me personally, after repeatedly blasting Python ("any language whose
whitespace has semantic value is fundamentally flawed,") I've come
around... if Perl was the duct tape of the first decade or so of the
Internet, I tend to think Python is just about the only potential
challenger. There's some interesting stuff about it, and some semantic
ickiness that needs to be fixed...

* it's actually just as if not more portable than Java
* being both embeddable and extensible is nice
* having a standard externalization scheme is nice
* the ability to "freeze" / dump standalone executables is nice
* it's amenable to formal techniques that allow compilation
* higher-order functions

There's still some weirdness with scoping rules, some semantic
sloppiness in how functions are *really* dealt with, and the standard
implementation is far from optimal, but I suspect all that will get
better with time.

I too much prefer Scheme from a language purists standpoint, but this is
just another case of the philosophical struggle between having many ways
to do something in a language and having a minimalist language in which
there's generally a single "obviously correct" solution. I don't know
why that struggle exists, maybe because people don't really want to sit
and reason about their code, they'd just rather test and tweak until it
works. ;-)