[oclug] Evolution problem
Michael P. Soulier
msoulier at digitaltorque.ca
Tue Jun 17 22:31:31 EDT 2003
On 16/06/03 Brad Barnett did speaketh:
> Actually, I am being quite rational. You need to understand the
> difference between a colourful expression of ideas, and irrational
> behaviour. It's apparent you don't.
Colourful is one way to put it.
> Furthermore, Python's whitespace indentation is void of merit.
> Completely. It puts form before function, as is clearly demonstrated, and
> that is _always_ flawed. Whitespace indentation can cause many problems,
> and there is simply no need for it. It is obvious that I have reasons for
> disagreeing with Python's way of doing things, but you boil it down to
> "Just because someone else's ideas are different from yours does not make
> them void of merit.". No so, as I _clearly_ conveyed in my last message.
> Functionality first, form second. Always. Python breaks that rule right
Sometimes they are the same. Guido chose to enforce whitespace
mostly based on suggestions from Donald Knuth made in his, "The Art of
Computer Programming" series. I look at it very simply. I was going to
indent anyway, so what does it matter to me? Meanwhile, I lose all the
extra characters cluttering up the code, like semicolons (which Tcl has
in common) and braces.
Whitespace indentation does not cause many problems, in my
experience. Clueless twits who have no idea how to use their editor,
with no knowledge of the difference between tabs and spaces, certainly
can cause problems, and not just in Python.
I see many complaints about the enforced whitespace, but I have yet
to see a real problem, beyond the fact that it becomes difficult to
embed Python in a webpage (which PSP and Spyce get around anyway).
Difficult, but not impossible. I'd rather use HTML::Mason for that
anyway. I used to use PHP, but PHP is a gawdawful hack, IMHO.
Let me be gratuitous and quote myself:
'It was designed with clarity in mind, focusing not only on ease of
comprehension of the language and its features, but ease of inheritance
of the work of others. While this last point may not seem very important
from an academic standpoint, out in the real world, people leave and
other people have to inherit the work that they've done. The time it
takes to understand and absorb that work is called "money."'
And that, more than anything else, is why whitespace is enforced.
Have you noticed that there are no code beautifiers for Python? Two
reasons for that. The first being that a badly written one would break
Python code, just as certainly as a kludge that rips braces out of C.
The second is that the code is beautiful already. If your coworkers
touch it, you know that they're going to intent correctly. They must, or
the code won't work.
I like that, and many other things about the language. I've used it
long enough to have complaints too, especially coming from a Perl
background. But, I have complaints about Perl too, and I work in it all
day long, with few troubles.
Michael P. Soulier <msoulier at digitaltorque.ca>, GnuPG pub key: 5BC8BE08
"...the word HACK is used as a verb to indicate a massive amount
of nerd-like effort." -Harley Hahn, A Student's Guide to Unix
HTML Email Considered Harmful: http://expita.com/nomime.html
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