Python is an experiment in how much freedom programmers need. Too much freedom and nobody can read another's code; too little and expressiveness is endangered.

— Guido van Rossum

The most jaw-dropping Guido van Rossum quotes you will be delighted to read

If you decide to design your own language, there are thousands of sort of amateur language designer pitfalls.

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Don't you hate code that's not properly indented? Making it [indenting] part of the syntax guarantees that all code is properly indented.

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It's easy to make mistakes that only come out much later, after you've already implemented a lot of code. You'll realize Oh I should have used a different type of data structure. Start over from scratch.

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In my daily work, I work on very large, complex, distributed systems built out of many Python modules and packages. The focus is very similar to what you find, for example, in Java and, in general, in systems programming languages.

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If you're talking about Java in particular, Python is about the best fit you can get amongst all the other languages. Yet the funny thing is, from a language point of view, JavaScript has a lot in common with Python, but it is sort of a restricted subset.

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My own perception of that is somewhat colored by where people ask my advice, which is still, of course, about changes to Python internals or at least standard libraries.

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Now, it's my belief that Python is a lot easier than to teach to students programming and teach them C or C++ or Java at the same time because all the details of the languages are so much harder. Other scripting languages really don't work very well there either.

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Mark Hammond is working in this area, with Windows Scripting Host.

It is definitely an area where Python fits almost perfectly. That's quite independent from Java, actually.

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There is an incredibly large spectrum of possible causes for program bugs, including simple typos, "thinkos," hidden limitations of underlying abstractions, and outright bugs in abstractions or their implementation.

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Modern programs must handle Unicode —Python has excellent support for Unicode, and will keep getting better.

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Yes, I definitely believe that it has some good cross-platform properties.

Object orientation was one of the techniques I used to make Python platform independent.

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The second stream of material that is going to come out of this project is a programming environment and a set of programming tools where we really want to focus again on the needs of the newbie. This environment is going to have to be extremely user-friendly.

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About Guido van Rossum

Quotes 16 sayings
Nationality Dutch
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

I have this hope that there is a better way.

Higher-level tools that actually let you see the structure of the software more clearly will be of tremendous value.

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There was a project at Lawrence Livermore National Labs where many years ago they went down this path for scripting and controlling very large numerical calculations.

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I would guess that the decision to create a small special purpose language or use an existing general purpose language is one of the toughest decisions that anyone facing the need for a new language must make.

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