[.Dino has a deliberately invalid email address so sending him anything
privately is not an option.]
I would agree with you that for some purposes, you do NOT need to dig deep
into a language to get fairly routine things done. You can often borrow
ideas and code from an online search and hopefully cobble "a" solution
together that works well enough. Of course it may suddenly fall apart. An
example is code written that assumes 4 specific files exist in the current
directory and unconditionally reads them and does stuff and eventually
overwrites some other file with new data. OOPS, what does the program do it
one or more files do not exist in the current directory under those exact
names? Does it check if they exist and exit gracefully, or start throwing
error messages as the code blindly proceeds on trying to change variables
that were never created and so on, and then end with perhaps an emptied file
and ruin lots of things?
Too many examples you get from the internet are a bit like that. They often
just tell you how to do something specific but leave out lots of details
that are a good idea for many kinds of code. And some adjustments you make
may break things and produce a result you trust but that is actually wrong.
So if you find something you don't like about the language, guess what. You
have very little standing if you never learned much more than what it took
to copy some code. You are likely to be told things by others ranging from
suggesting you need to do it another way or that the language is doing
exactly what was designed and suggestions you go back to school and get a
proper education and then the answer may be obvious.
It truly does NOT matter what YOU think should happen unless you point to
documentation that says something else should have happened.
I will skip a lengthier reply but am thinking how some languages use a
boxing/unboxing approach to wrap native "objects" like an integer. In many
cases, your program is allowed to treat this as either a wrapped object or
unboxed as needed and the compiler or interpreter keeps making changes
behind the scenes so you see it as needed. In a sense, Booleans are a
restricted form of integer and are viewed one of several ways. Python goes
many steps further and has a concept of truthy that maps practically
anything to True or False.
The bottom line is not that Python or any language is wrong or right or
great or horrible. It is that based on your own admission, you have not
taken steps to understand more than you have to and thus are in a weak
position to argue anything. Not because any of us are smarter in some sense,
but because some of us do study more intensively and come ready to
re-evaluate our ideas when we encounter others. What Python does in the
situation discussed is pretty much what an assortment of languages include
many C-based ones do. If it happens that your background is limited, fine.
Many of us here have been exposed to the ideas in 5 or a dozen or literally
hundreds of languages and variants and are well aware that some languages
treat Booleans differently. But note we are posting on this forum so we
generally don't find it that objectionable the way Python has chosen.
We welcome well-intentioned discussions and the question is not at all
stupid. But our answers may not be being seen as reasonable and that can be
of some concern. The answer remains that the language was designed this way
and many are happy with the design. Interestingly, I wonder if anyone has
designed an alternate object type that can be used mostly in place of
Booleans but which imposes changes and restrictions so trying to add a
Boolean to an integer, or vice versa, results in an error. Python is
flexible enough to do that and perhaps there already is a module out there
From: Python-list <email@example.com> On
Behalf Of Dino
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2023 9:26 AM
Subject: Re: RE: bool and int
Wow. That was quite a message and an interesting read. Tempted to go deep
and say what I agree and what I disagree with, but there are two
issues: 1) time 2) I will soon be at a disadvantage discussing with people
(you or others) who know more than me (which doesn't make them right
necessarily, but certainly they'll have the upper-hand in a discussion).
Personally, in the first part of my career I got into the habit of learning
things fast, sometimes superficially I confess, and then get stuff done
hopefully within time and budget. Not the recommended approach if you need
to build software for a nuclear plant. An OK approach (within reason) if you
build websites or custom solutions for this or that organization and the
budget is what it is. After all, technology moves sooo fast, and what we
learn in detail today is bound to be old and possibly useless 5 years down
Also, I argue that there is value in having familiarity with lots of
different technologies (front-end and back-end) and knowing (or at lease,
having a sense) of how they can all be made play together with an
appreciation of the different challenges and benefits that each domain
Anyway, everything is equivalent to a Turing machine and IA will screw
everyone, including programmers, eventually.
Thanks again and have a great day
On 1/25/2023 9:14 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > Dino,
> There is no such things as a "principle of least surprise" or if you
> insist there is, I can nominate many more such "rules" such as "the
> principle of get out of my way and let me do what I want!"
> Computer languages with too many rules are sometimes next to unusable
> in practical situations.
> I am neither defending or attacking choices Python or other languages
> have made. I merely observe and agree to use languages carefully and
> as documented.