Mailing List Archive

Replacing 4 underscores with a $ sign, idea for a PEP
Hello good people of Python Dev!

My name is Karl and I have been a Python user since 2010, professionally since 2015. I belong to the "novice, non-technical" group of users, having got my start with programming in the 1990s using HyperTalk, possibly the easiest language of all, with the most English-like syntax. My move to Python in 2010 resulted from my move to Linux at that time. The "easy syntax, almost like pseudo code" assessment that is often repeated about Python was a big factor in choosing the language for the tools I wanted to build then. I've come a long way since those early days, but I will not forget how I got started.

However... To this day, I am bothered by the convention of certain names using 4 underscores - "__class__", "__init__", "__add__", etc. I find them foreboding and difficult to type. They are also difficult to debug because in many editors there is no space between two underscores, and it may not be immediately obvious whether there is one underscore or two, or even three. I am lucky enough to have no disabilities, but I imagine there are segments of the "novice, non-technical" user group who would struggle to a greater degree than me. Given the focus of the Steering Council on improving inclusiveness and access in the Python community, I am hopeful that my message will be heard and my suggestion for improvement considered.

I understand how this naming convention came about, no problems there. I do think it is a case of too much linear thinking though, progressing from the convention of one underscore to two, then to four. I believe by the time we get to four, it is time to say "Stop, is there not a better way?"

Looking at the non-alphanumeric symbols in ASCII and considering their existing use in Python and other languages, the dollar sign "$" presents itself as the best option: "main.$class", "$init", "$add", etc. Of course, the old convention would remain for backward compatibility, but new code would be easier to type and debug with this new symbol.

Perhaps this solution or something like it has already been considered and rejected. In that case, no big deal, this post shall vanish into oblivion with no harm done. On the other hand, if my idea is new and has potential, then I am hoping that a core dev will step up, say something encouraging, and I will write up a PEP.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to your replies.

Karl
_______________________________________________
Python-Dev mailing list -- python-dev@python.org
To unsubscribe send an email to python-dev-leave@python.org
https://mail.python.org/mailman3/lists/python-dev.python.org/
Message archived at https://mail.python.org/archives/list/python-dev@python.org/message/U3NLUUSN64MUXRRT7DATPQS2YLHCKTIR/
Re: Replacing 4 underscores with a $ sign, idea for a PEP [ In reply to ]
My only comment is that this belongs first on python-ideas
<https://mail.python.org/mailman3/lists/python-ideas.python.org/>.

Skip
Re: Replacing 4 underscores with a $ sign, idea for a PEP [ In reply to ]
Sorry for posting to the wrong list! If this could be moved I'd appreciate it.
_______________________________________________
Python-Dev mailing list -- python-dev@python.org
To unsubscribe send an email to python-dev-leave@python.org
https://mail.python.org/mailman3/lists/python-dev.python.org/
Message archived at https://mail.python.org/archives/list/python-dev@python.org/message/MCD6LDSLNDA4DANEJEDT7FQR4HSCTU36/
Re: Replacing 4 underscores with a $ sign, idea for a PEP [ In reply to ]
You’ll have to manually re-send it.

--
Eric V. Smith
(301) 502-0945 cell

> On Jul 21, 2019, at 11:23 AM, karld@beholdingeye.com wrote:
>
> Sorry for posting to the wrong list! If this could be moved I'd appreciate it.
> _______________________________________________
> Python-Dev mailing list -- python-dev@python.org
> To unsubscribe send an email to python-dev-leave@python.org
> https://mail.python.org/mailman3/lists/python-dev.python.org/
> Message archived at https://mail.python.org/archives/list/python-dev@python.org/message/MCD6LDSLNDA4DANEJEDT7FQR4HSCTU36/
_______________________________________________
Python-Dev mailing list -- python-dev@python.org
To unsubscribe send an email to python-dev-leave@python.org
https://mail.python.org/mailman3/lists/python-dev.python.org/
Message archived at https://mail.python.org/archives/list/python-dev@python.org/message/QVYBOPDF5DXM5PF6ZDBFYEXYULTG32QN/
Re: Replacing 4 underscores with a $ sign, idea for a PEP [ In reply to ]
Eric Smith advised me that I'll have to manually re-post to the Ideas list. I'll do so once my subscription there is accepted. If possible, this thread should be deleted.
_______________________________________________
Python-Dev mailing list -- python-dev@python.org
To unsubscribe send an email to python-dev-leave@python.org
https://mail.python.org/mailman3/lists/python-dev.python.org/
Message archived at https://mail.python.org/archives/list/python-dev@python.org/message/NQJI2ZEH567TFV55SN4J5MHVNEAUZRO2/
Re: Replacing 4 underscores with a $ sign, idea for a PEP [ In reply to ]
forward?

Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer
Mauritius
Re: Replacing 4 underscores with a $ sign, idea for a PEP [ In reply to ]
I have changed my mind. I will not be taking part in these mailing lists any further for the time being. My thinking about the issue I have raised has evolved and I have more developed ideas to offer, but for the case to be made properly with any chance of success, the first thing that should happen is for this present mode of communication to be upgraded with something more modern and useable. An interface where posting does not have a latency of several hours, where theads may be managed and moved between lists if needed, or deleted if needed, where code snippets may be represented properly. If the Steering Council is genuine in their call for greater inclusiveness, and in particular in better serving the needs of the "novice, non-technical" users, they need to ensure the communication is unhindered. Compared to other possible solutions that exist nowadays, these mailing lists are stone-age. I'll keep an eye on developments and will return with a proposal for an easy-to-use Tool su
perset of the present object/class/instance paradigm, targeting the aforementioned segment of users. For now, I wish you all the very best in your work taking Python forward.
_______________________________________________
Python-Dev mailing list -- python-dev@python.org
To unsubscribe send an email to python-dev-leave@python.org
https://mail.python.org/mailman3/lists/python-dev.python.org/
Message archived at https://mail.python.org/archives/list/python-dev@python.org/message/JWV7DBAXBLVNNSWXY5ITWG73WXWGKZN4/
Re: Replacing 4 underscores with a $ sign, idea for a PEP [ In reply to ]
Hi Karl,

Maybe have a look at https://discuss.python.org/c/ideas where you could
open up a discussion about your ideas. It's maybe a easier tool than the
mailing list.

On Tue, Jul 23, 2019 at 2:05 PM Karl Dolenc <karld@beholdingeye.com> wrote:

> I have changed my mind. I will not be taking part in these mailing lists
> any further for the time being. My thinking about the issue I have raised
> has evolved and I have more developed ideas to offer, but for the case to
> be made properly with any chance of success, the first thing that should
> happen is for this present mode of communication to be upgraded with
> something more modern and useable. An interface where posting does not have
> a latency of several hours, where theads may be managed and moved between
> lists if needed, or deleted if needed, where code snippets may be
> represented properly. If the Steering Council is genuine in their call for
> greater inclusiveness, and in particular in better serving the needs of the
> "novice, non-technical" users, they need to ensure the communication is
> unhindered. Compared to other possible solutions that exist nowadays, these
> mailing lists are stone-age. I'll keep an eye on developments and will
> return with a proposal for an easy-to-use Tool su
> perset of the present object/class/instance paradigm, targeting the
> aforementioned segment of users. For now, I wish you all the very best in
> your work taking Python forward.
> _______________________________________________
> Python-Dev mailing list -- python-dev@python.org
> To unsubscribe send an email to python-dev-leave@python.org
> https://mail.python.org/mailman3/lists/python-dev.python.org/
> Message archived at
> https://mail.python.org/archives/list/python-dev@python.org/message/JWV7DBAXBLVNNSWXY5ITWG73WXWGKZN4/
>
Re: Replacing 4 underscores with a $ sign, idea for a PEP [ In reply to ]
Hi Karl,

Email should not have a latency of "several hours" unless there is
something seriously wrong, perhaps your mail server (your ISP?) is
broken. Or possibly you're still being moderated: we recently changed to
moderating newcomers, in response to a flurry of spam.

As a newcomer to this community, it isn't very nice of you to start the
conversation by telling us that we're doing it wrong, or trying to guilt
us into changing the ways we manage technical discussions to suit your
taste over those of existing developers ("If the Steering Council is
genuine in their call for greater inclusiveness...").

Many of us *like* email, and consider it modern enough, more usable than
web interfaces, with most of the features we want and none of the ones
we don't. Without getting into a flame-war, people have very strong
opinions about technology, and many people consider web forums to be
terrible for technical discussions. I'm not asking you to agree, but I
am asking you to respect the fact that the question of what technology
is used for technical discussions is nuanced and complicated.

In 2019, email shouldn't have a latency of more than a few minutes
unless there's a problem, and since code is text, it is perfectly
possible to represent code snippets in email. And while we can't move
posts from one mailing list to another, you can certainly press the
Forward button in your mail client to re-send it. Or copy and paste the
text into a new email.

But for those who prefer a web-based interface, with lots of
~~unnecessary cruft~~ features like user-icons and badges and smileys,
you can try the Discuss interface here:

https://discuss.python.org/c/ideas

or the Python-Ideas web interface here:

https://mail.python.org/archives/list/python-ideas@python.org


--
Steven
_______________________________________________
Python-Dev mailing list -- python-dev@python.org
To unsubscribe send an email to python-dev-leave@python.org
https://mail.python.org/mailman3/lists/python-dev.python.org/
Message archived at https://mail.python.org/archives/list/python-dev@python.org/message/3ASOT65IYMF7SBAM4PFIFHGPQI3IRQVS/