Python Link of the Day

December 3, 2005 at 10:05 am | Posted in python, Software Engineering | 6 Comments

Ok I have my 1st gui Python app up thanks to this. Its nothing more than a cross platform text box but just that is cool. Quite cool actually.

Now conceptually I really do like the idea that Python is brace i.e. { and } free. Having managed literally departments of programmers through different programming standards and the “indentation wars” I can see the desire to call “A Pox Upon their Houses; there shall be no braces”. Guido was absolutely brilliant when he made this decision and $guido_geek_fu++; as we would say in PHP syntax.

That said one of the more infuriating things I find about learning Python is that when you paste code in from the web, the indentation gets munged and then things don’t compile. Given that indentation is basically invisible and that any newbie will paste code in from things like O’Reilly’s Safari (i.e. an online version of the Python Cookbook), you can see the problem.

Am I the only person who’s ever noted this? I can’t be but I’ve never seen it discussed.  Niall I know you do Python as do you Simon (and, yes, I’m looking intently at Django).  Am I on crack here ?  Did I fall off the turnip truck somewhere in the basics of the learning curve?  Now bear in mind that I’ve spent the last several years steeped in brace centric languages and, at least for me, I find that the getting past the initial hump of a new language is the hard part.  After that its all the same stuff but that initial hump, the adaptation to a very new way, is the hard part.

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  1. This is the unfortunate downside of meaningful indentation. I find it hardly ever effects me as I’m pretty fast at re-indenting broken code snippets (an editor that lets you select a block of code and hit a key to indent it all at once is invaluable). It sucks when it happens though.

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