turncoat

Peter Corlett abuse at cabal.org.uk
Wed Aug 22 15:07:09 BST 2007


On 22 Aug 2007, at 13:20, Steve Mynott wrote:
[...]
> Also it takes no more than an hour or two for a Perl programmer
> to become highly productive in Python.

Umm, bollocks. It'll take longer than that to overcome the culture  
shock.

You and your editor have to get over the significant whitespace, then  
you have to grip the basics of the language, then there's the  
inhalation of the first few chapters of the library documentation to  
get a feel for the capabilities of the basic datatypes.

I've been poking at Python on and off for a while and I'd hardly  
consider myself skilled at it. I still occasionally need to go and  
look back at those first few chapters to remind myself the equivalent  
of, say, "unshift". (It is to the language's credit that I find I  
don't actually need to do such low-level list operations terribly  
often which is why they're not yet committed to memory.)

Python documentation is particularly weak, I find. In many cases it's  
just a list of methods without actually bothering to tell you what  
class or namespace these are for, or what class is returned! Given  
that Python's type checking is effectively non-existent, this is even  
more important than in a strongly-typed language where this can often  
be inferred from the method signature and/or the compiler will tell  
you it's wrong.




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