Python is Wrong

I recently did about 3 days of solid hacking in Python, and discovered some limitations and some nice features of the language and its libraries in the process.
I can complain about how limited the lambda is compared to my experiences with Scheme, or how lacking its process management utilities are, but more importantly, there’s something fundamentally wrong with python.

You see, it has this neat easter egg. “import this” prints the following poem, see if you can state the gross error. To make it easier, I’m putting the gross error in BOLD.

The Zen of Python, by Tim Peters

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!

Oh come ON! Anyone who’s ever done numerical simulation or any kind of computational physics knows that Implicit has the same error as Explicit but is unconditionally stable!

Give me implicit euler integration or give me death.

One Comment

  1. Willy says:

    Always picking a fight with Python, Niels. One day you'll get to punch Guido in the face. One day…