Sunday, August 07, 2005

Guido's OSCON Python keynote

Guido has posted his powerpoint slides in the usual location. (Opens fine in OpenOffice.) The slides are mostly the same as the ones from EuroPython a month ago; here are the main differences:

  • Some odd slides during the introduction (anyone who was there care to explain these?)
  • language data scraped from sf.net -- or you could just look at this page; no need to scrape and piss off SF for something this simple. (Poor Dylan -- even less projects than Cobol -- 2 vs 4.)
  • "What does this buy us" slides added to 342 (generator) and 343 (with) PEP discussion (highly recommended if you haven't been following python-dev religiously)
  • Exception reform discussion

Personally, the "with" statement excites me the most. The exception cleanup is overdue but less sexy. :)

The static typing subject has been talked to death but I'll add my two cents.

Basically, it's a bad idea because it kills duck typing by requiring interfaces like "iterable"--a horrible idea even if all stdlib classes grow corresponding interfaces. The repeated realizations that I can't use a library because its author didn't bother making interfaces for the basic classes involved is a large reason I don't feel comfortable in static languages anymore.

"Adaptation" solves that problem in theory; in practice, having to create adapters to convince Python to treat my objects as ducks would be a noxious imposition. Code that exists only to convince the runtime that I know what I'm doing is un-Pythonic.

On the other hand, I think it would be misleading for "x: file" to not perform any assertions at all, and therefore also a bad idea. Better than inflicting interfacitis on Python, though.

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