Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Slashdot interviews Guido van Rossum, Python creator

By Vasudev Ram

Slashdot recently interviewed Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python.

Just saw it via this tweet by the BDFL himself.

The interviews includes topics like what he did at Google, what he is doing at Dropbox, and other things:

Slashdot interviews Guido

Here are a few gems from the interview, IMO of course :-)

[ Guido: I'm not a fan of religiously taking some idea to the extreme, and I try to be pragmatic in my design choices (but not *too* pragmatic, see the start of this sentence :-). I value readability and usefulness for real code. There are some places where map() and filter() make sense, and for other places Python has list comprehensions. I ended up hating reduce() because it was almost exclusively used (a) to implement sum(), or (b) to write unreadable code. So we added builtin sum() at the same time we demoted reduce() from a builtin to something in functools (which is a dumping ground for stuff I don't really care about :-).


Multi-line lambdas
by NeverWorker1

One of the most common complaints about Python is the limitations of its lambdas, namely being one line only without the ability to do assignments. Obviously, Python's whitespace treatment is a major part of that (and, IIRC, I've read comments from you to that effect). I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about possible syntax for a multi-line lambda, and the best I've come up with is trying to shoehorn some unused (or little used) symbol into a C-style curly brace, but that's messy at best. Is there a better way, and do you see this functionality ever being added?

Guido: Really? I almost never hear that complaint except from people who submit questions to Slashdot interviews. :-)


Have the prospects of Python in any way improved since you grew a beard? To what degree does language success correlate to beard length?

Guido: It is absolutely essential. Just look at Perl's fate -- Larry Wall is just too clean-shaven. :-)


- Vasudev Ram - Dancing Bison Enterprises

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