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Re: Organizational Culture (Part II): Meta Process

by hrcerq (Scribe)
on Jun 23, 2021 at 04:03 UTC ( #11134190=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Organizational Culture (Part II): Meta Process

Interesting article.

I remember when I tried Python six or seven years ago. At that time, I didn't see it as a "mainstream" language, and (judge me if you want) perhaps that's what attracted me to it, and at the same time frustrated me.

At the same time, I wanted the oportunity to use it (for practice in my job at the time, and so it had to be known by my employer), but didn't want to see it bloated and surrounded by people who know more about marketing strategies than anything about programming.

That's a bit challenging. Now, we fast-forward it to this year and, at least from my point of view, it really got mainstream, but it seems there's a price for that. As I feared, it got assaulted by people who know nothing and couldn't care less about real programming.

"Robustness, performance, stability, portability? No, shiny new features are all that really matter..."

And let me state it very clear: this is not to say that a Python programmer is a bad programmer, but that many bad programmers are trying Python, and thus hijacking it, promoting it as something it didn't use to be. I'm not even sure if these could be considered a majority, but they're noisy.

So, that raises the question: did Python win, after all? Because now, when you say you're part of a Python group, you may be confused with "charlatans". Real Python programmers have no guilt on that, of course, but it's a situation that got out of control, unfortunately.

In many of these "Python circles", it seems like programming is not at all an art. Creating a beautiful piece of code is not important in such circles. Self-promoting is.

So, if that's considered a victory, I definitely wouldn't want to see Perl win. Ever. Having lost is appealing enough for me.

(I think this last part contrasts a bit with my signature, which should only apply to perl code, not Perl culture :)

return on_success() or die;

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Re^2: Organizational Culture (Part II): Meta Process (BioPerl and Data Science References)
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Bishop) on Jun 23, 2021 at 08:34 UTC
      My personal opinion is that Perl, Python and Ruby are essentially equivalent. At least I enjoy coding in all three ...

      Yes, I can understand that, and I also enjoy Python (not as much as in past days, and not as much as Perl, but I still do). I hope my comments don't sound like I have anything against Python or its community as a whole. That was not intended.

      Glad you mentioned this node. Makes perfect sense, actually. As stated there,

      ... they blame the language for the messes created by people who didn't know what they were doing ...

      So, that should remind us that writing poor programs just to get stuff done may give a bad reputation to the language and its community. It happened to Perl in the past, and seems like it's happening to Python now. Copy/paste isn't just ugly programming practice. It'll harm someone, eventually.

      ... if I was embarking on an AI and Machine Learning career today, I'd choose Python, not Perl. ...

      Indeed, there's a thriving AI/ML community among Python developers. I wish I could say the same for Perl.

      return on_success() or die;

Re^2: Organizational Culture (Part II): Meta Process
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Bishop) on Jun 23, 2021 at 12:48 UTC

    many bad programmers are trying Python, and thus hijacking it, promoting it as something it didn't use to be. I'm not even sure if these could be considered a majority, but they're noisy.

    Yes, your observation reminds me of a noisy Python lover at work who never tired of telling everyone how much he loved Python and hated Perl because Python was so much more "readable" than Perl ... until later outed (during code reviews) as a mediocre Python programmer.

    Update: it turns out he hated Perl based on appearances and hearsay because he'd never actually written a Perl program! (Stroustrup noticed similar bigotry towards C++ "twice as many people claimed to hate C++ as had ever written even a single small C++ program").

    It seems that Python can have a superficial attraction to mediocre programmers (even non-programmers!) because it looks like English ... so they think they understand it ... and then marvel at its magical powers of "readability" :) ... while Perl looks like line noise ... which reminds me of the famous Larry Wall quote:

    I'm reminded of the day my daughter came in, looked over my shoulder at some Perl 4 code, and said, 'What is that, swearing?'
    which I remember from painstakingly constructing this old and fragile obfu (which sadly no longer works). It used to generate a Larry Wall quote from perl's error messages.

    BTW, I accidentally discovered when writing The Lighter Side of Perl Culture (Part III): Obfu that Python obfus exist! I also met some very capable Python hackers when playing code golf and really liked them. Python is nowadays a much more popular code golfing language than Perl - which surprises a lot of people.

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