Python

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Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it.
Alexandre Dumas
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Python is an interpreted, interactive programming language created by Guido van Rossum in 1990.

On Python

  • Excellent plan! Devious minds are attracted to Python, like mimes to unappreciative crowds.
    • Tim Peters, 13 Nov 1998
  • Python's syntax succeeds in combining the mistakes of Lisp and Fortran. I do not construe that as progress.
    • Larry Wall (author of Perl), May 12 2004
  • Python is an experiment in how much freedom programmers need. Too much freedom and nobody can read another's code; too little and expressiveness is endangered.
    • Guido van Rossum, 13 Aug 1996
  • And what defines a 'python activist' anyway? Blowing up Perl installations worldwide?
    • Ivan Van Laningham, June 2005, on comp.lang.python
  • Python is more concerned with making it easy to write good programs than difficult to write bad ones.
    • Steve Holden, June 2005, on comp.lang.python
  • "Being able to cook an egg."
    • Guido Van Rossum in response to the question, "What do you think is the most important skill every programmer should posses?"

The Zen of Python (from the output of "import this")

Beautiful is better than ugly.
Explicit is better than implicit.
Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated.
Flat is better than nested.
Sparse is better than dense.
Readability counts.
Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules.
Although practicality beats purity.
Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.
In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.
There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it.
Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch.
Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than *right* now.
If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea.
If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
Namespaces are one honking great idea -- let's do more of those!

  • Tim Peters