Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Strange "I Hate Python" Concerns. Mostly nonsensical.

From a troll-bait thread asking the argumentative question "why do people use Python"? The answers were, oddly, a long list of strange, nonsensical complaints. And a few logical fallacies. Here are all the ones I could parse:
  1. "It's the FORTRAN of our times."
  2. It's the COBOL of our times.
  3. "deep seated aversion to languages where whitespace has fundamental syntactic significance". 
  4. "And also where the simplest "Hello world!" program is busted between v2 and v3 (true story)"
  5. "My stomach turns in a knot at the introduction of EVERY trendy language"
  6. "I am almost always focused on productization qualities such as maintainability, performance, and any number of other "-ilities"."
  7. Nobody [cares] about Your language unless You can produce executable
  8. "It's ghastly. The Python Tools for Visual Studio eases the pain with a full symbolic/visual debugger but still..."
  9. "the socialist theme of universities leads to preference for open source and "free" over professionally developed and maintained tools... Meanwhile I really like JavaScript as a free wheeling scripting language."
  10. "Python ... is an inferior language. I can trust a well-engineered JavaScript system."
  11. "it's worse than fortran because it has a dedicated following"
  12. "my indictment is maintainability once productized. I always have a fear of building legacy packages that, once a mountain is built and is difficult to move, that people of the future will curse my name"
  13. "rationally, the continuing investment in the Node/TypeScript infrastructure places JavaScript in an entirely different infrastructure realm than Python"
  14. "Python doesn't have its equivalent of Node.js"
  15. "as a LANGUAGE JavaScript has great infrastructure across device types, OS brands, and across every level of scale now imaginable"
  16. Four separate reasoning-by-analogy: Lisp, FoxPro, PHP, and Perl. (e.g., "Amazon did amazing things with perl.") Somehow a failure involving these languages (or ecosystems or whatever) indicts Python because they're all "trendy" (I think.)
Yes. There were others that made less sense. I've omitted them.

TL;DR: These people don't seem to know what they're talking about. The posts are universally fact-free, so we're just listening to folks rambling randomly about Python.

Some responses. Feel free to use these when someone asks you why you're still using Python.
  1. That makes no sense
  2. That makes no sense
  3. The languages which are totally free of whitespace appear to be C and maybe C++. This principle rules out JavaScript, since the ASI rules involve wrangling ";" in place of the evil whitespace.
  4. This is a weird complaint. Stuff changed. How is that a problem? Are you saying change is a problem? What's this then? https://kangax.github.io/compat-table/es5/ 
  5. Trendy is a problem? Really?
  6. Who isn't focused on quality attributes?
  7. http://docs.python-guide.org/en/latest/shipping/freezing/
  8. What does "ghastly" mean?
  9. What's a "socialist theme"? How is JavaScript "free-wheeling"? What does that even mean?
  10. What is "inferior" being measured? Alphabetically? (Python comes after Javascript, so it's in an inferior position alphabetically?)
  11. How is a dedicated following a problem?
  12. http://pypl.github.io/PYPL.html Python is second to Java.
  13. "continuing investment"? By whom? And how does this "investment" compare with Python?
  14. What's wrong with twisted, tornado, Gunicorn, and Nginx? Don't they count?
  15. Python is available more-or-less everywhere. Without a specific coverage gap, this makes no sense.
  16. Also known as the False Equivalence fallacy. Without details of the failure mode, equivalence with Python isn't established.
Omitted is a random discussion on how Ruby is "rigorously defined". The implication seems to be that Python somehow might not be rigorously defined or something. It's not clear what the sub-thread was about, so I ignored it.

This thread seemed to involve two kinds of complaints:
  • Utter nonsense.
  • Lies that are pretty east to refute.