Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Why web programming matters most comment 000

If Python were like "every other" programming language, what would be its advantage? The Monty Python tie-in?

Python does appeal to programmers. When you are sick of your current language and you want something better, you finally decide to do more than dip your toe in. Or that super programmer down the row who you respect, because he really is very good at programming keeps telling you Python is worth learning. You finally break down and start playing with it. Or you think LISP is really cool, but not really practical these days and you look to Python.

Whatever, but it takes some effort to learn a new language. If the new language were just like your old language, you wouldn't be making the effort to learn it.

Programmers impose rules on whitespace themselves. Would you like to read a program written in Perl (or whatever) where the programmer used no whitespace to denote structure? Or worse yet had incorrect indentation? It would be horrible. The first thing you'd do was fix it, curly braces or not. You need the whitespace. So who cares about the curly braces? They don't matter. Indentation is what matters.

I ran across a really good quote recently. It kind of fits the whole whitespace argument. The thought being that the way Python does whitespace is a really good idea:

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If the ideas are any good you'll have to ram them down people's throats" - Howard Aiken, computer scientist.

Comment on Re: Why Web Programming Matters Most
by Dennis