Book review review 
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 Book review review

Terry Rooker reviews *Programming Python* for the April 1998
*;login* <URL: http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;.
It's an accurate review (as are most articles *;login* publishes,
more or less), and one mildly favorable both to *PP* and the
language.  I have a few quibbles with the article, which I'll
record here.  Copies of this are going to Mr. Rooker and Mark, of

I find it mildly anachronistic to emphasize "GUI-based networked
applications" as the desideratum "[e]arly in the 1990s".  Was it
really that way?  I thought GUIfication and socket (and RPC) were
less prominent then than SysAd and text processing and arithmetic
sorts of things.  Perhaps I just wasn't paying attention.

When Mr. Rooker writes, "Python never caught on widely, so it is
difficult to support publication of several different books," he
gives an ambiguous impression that I wish to clarify.  My sources
tell me there's no particular problem on the demand side, in the
sense that several publishers are receptive to proposals for "a
tutorial or beginner's introduction ... and ... a comprehensive
reference to the language."  The principal constraint is on the
supply side:  there just aren't enough authors around with the
interest and ability to tackle the subjects.

I find Mr. Rooker excessively dramatic in labeling Python's ability
to mix procedural, functional, and object-oriented styles "a
disaster waiting to happen."  I do agree this ability, and what
best to do with it, deserve more discussion.  Mr. Rooker himself
"still [has] not decided if this is good or bad."

Mr. Rooker says of the Monty python references that "they sometimes
appeared to be a forced attempt at being cute."  From what I know
of Mark, he has to force himself not to be cute.

I think comparison of the relative merits of Python and Java is
more interesting than the one paragraph Mr. Rooker gives it.
Readers at least should know of <URL:http://>, so they can learn more on
their own.

The review ends, "[Python] may be relegated to a niche player.
But if you want an alternative to Java, Python is a good choice,
and this book is the perfect starting point."

Cameron Laird           http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~claird/home.html

Sun, 24 Sep 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Book review review


> Some of it is a blur to me now, but for two long weeks during the summer
> of '95, I was strapped to a chair in a dark room at O'Reilly's east-coast
> compound, forced to watch endless Monty Python reruns, and fed nothing
> but Spam.  They wouldn't let me leave until words like "ni", "sh{*filter*}y",
> and "parrot" started appearing at seemingly random intervals in my writing.
> And then there were the implants...  [insert X-files theme song here]  

Hollywood Bowl last Saturday night (ah, PBS =)...  Must be the subliminal
messages in the X-files reruns, or the subtle encoding in the "X" logo,
designed by the folks at Letterror, where Guido's brother works -- aargh!
it's a {*filter*}!!!

The only good thing is I finally understood the Justice Kennedy quote from
a couple of weeks ago about the NEA funding rules -- wink, wink, nudge

  "that's not a very silly walk, now, is it?"

Fri, 29 Sep 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Book review review

Chyden.Net writes:

>> The only objective thing worth interjecting is that Python is
>> named after a BBC comedy series; humor is a fundamental part of its
>> culture (and, I think, life in general, but I'm not in a deep enough
>> mood to go there today ;-).
>Right.  What was van Rossum supposed to do?  Call it Hilter?

        In Kim "Howard" Johnson's _Life Before and After Monty
Python_, he lists some of the alternate titles for _Monty Python's
Flying Circus_ that were considered and rejected; a partial list is in
the Python-quotes file.  One of the titles was "The Year of the
Stoat", and I think Stoat would be a great name for a programming


A.M. Kuchling         
I keep the subject of my inquiry constantly before me, and wait till the first
dawning opens gradually, by little and little, into a full and clear light.
        -- Isaac Newton

Tue, 03 Oct 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Book review review

[Chyden.Net, The World's First BeOS ISP]

> ...
> Anyone who finds _Programming Python_ "too cute" needs to
> have holes drilled in his head to let the evil spirits out.

Worked for me!  Check this out:

couldn't-give-or-receive-a-finer-gift-ly y'rs  - tim

Wed, 04 Oct 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 8 post ] 

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