Thursday, March 24, 2005

"Perl isn't all bad."

Jeremy beat me to the punch again in describing today's keynote. Here are some quick highlights from my point of view:
  • @decorators are here to stay, and Guido thinks that knee-jerk reactions against Perl-like syntax is silly. (That's where the quote in the title comes from).
  • Python's popularity has grown over the past year (the Jolt award, complimentary articles and studies, 30% higher traffic on
  • Python 3000 is coming someday (probably). But Guido's committed to a slow growth policy. He really wants to avoid pulling a Perl 6.
  • The discussion of static type checking was interesting. Guido's current thought (presented as "strawman syntax" and "strawman semantics") looks like convenient shorthand for user-dictated runtime type checking:
    def foo(a: int, b: list[int]) -> list[str]: ...
    def foo(a, b):
    a = __typecheck__(a, int)
    b = __typecheck__(b, list[int])
    r = __original_foo(a, b)
    return __typecheck__(r, list[str])
  • He acknowledges that there are lots of tricky issues with this scheme, including efficiency problems with things like checking the type of a list. He also agreed that "static type checking" is no longer the right name for what he's proposing.

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