TIL that #Rust, while amazing, isn't so amazing for quick-and-dirty coding. It's like flying the Concorde for a 1-hour car trip.
@JonYoder There are reasons I often reach for the shell for quick-and-dirty things. But for anything serious, it quickly becomes a problem. In the days of Python 2, it was a good replacement, but with Python 3's inability to correctly handle POSIX filenames, environment variables, and parameters, I wouldn't bother. Rust is actually pretty decent for a lot of quick stuff once you get used to it.
@JonYoder I wrote a series of articles on this subject culminating in https://changelog.complete.org/archives/10063-the-fundamental-problem-in-python-3 . In short, I was so burned by my effort to port #pygopherd to #Python 3 -- and the utter crappiness and inconsistency of handling non-UTF8 in even the library bundled with Python -- that I consider it unsuitable for any purpose involving filenames, command-line parameters, or environment variables. One lovely tidbit is the zipfile.py tries to decode non-UTF8 sequences as cp437 in ALL cases!
@JonYoder If you want a coffee with your reading, after that first link, you can check out https://changelog.complete.org/archives/10053-the-incredible-disaster-of-python-3 and https://changelog.complete.org/archives/9938-the-python-unicode-mess . The upshot of it is, as far as I can tell, it is impossible to write cross-platform #Python code that handles filenames correctly on both POSIX and Windows. #Rust gets this right, and Python's attempt to assume the whole world has used #Unicode since the beginning of time is a real pain.
@JonYoder Avoiding #Python - Besides the absurd inconsistencies in https://changelog.complete.org/archives/10053-the-incredible-disaster-of-python-3 and the extreme difficulty verging on the impossibility of properly handling filenames in POSIX (see https://changelog.complete.org/archives/10063-the-fundamental-problem-in-python-3 and https://changelog.complete.org/archives/9938-the-python-unicode-mess ), there is more that makes me shy away. 2/
@JonYoder It is astonishing to me that #Python still has a Global Interpreter Lock in 2022. https://wiki.python.org/moin/GlobalInterpreterLock Multithreading in Python is mostly a fiction. There are kludges like https://docs.python.org/3/library/multiprocessing.html which use fork, pipes, pickling, and message passing to simulate threads. But there are so many dragons down that path -- performance and platform-specific ones (different things can be pickled on Windows vs. Linux) that it is a poor substitute. 3/
@JonYoder When I started using #Python more than 20 years ago now, it was an attractive alternative to Perl: like Perl, you don't have to worry about memory management as with C, but Python code was more maintainable. By now, though, even writing a Unix-style cat command in Python is extraordinarily complicated https://lucumr.pocoo.org/2014/5/12/everything-about-unicode/ . All the "foo-like objects" are an interesting abstraction until they break horribly, and the lack of strong types makes it hard to scale code size. 5/
@JonYoder The one place I still see #Python being used is situations where the #REPL is valuable. (Note, #Haskell also has this). #Jupyter is an example of this too. People use #Python for rapid testing of things and interactive prototyping. For a time, when I had date arithmetic problems, I'd open up the Python CLI and write stuff there. Nowadays it's simpler to just write a Rust program to do it for me, really. 7/
@JonYoder So that leaves me thinking: We're thinking about #Python wrong these days. Its greatest utility is as a shell, not a language to write large programs in. As a shell, it is decent, especially for scientific work. Like other shells, most of the serious work is farmed out to code not written in Python, but there is utility in having it as a shell anyhow. And like a shell, once your requirements get to a certain point, you reach for something more serious. end/
@tfb @JonYoder That is a really interesting point. I remember two programming languages, #Perl and #Tcl, that were really hot for awhile, for various reasons. Both went through a sort of boom and then a decline. I wonder what it is about these interpreted languages that caused that effect? I also wonder if we will see it effect more interpreted languages.
@jgoerzen @tfb @JonYoder I felt the same way; I think in both of these cases it's that the languages do some small (but important) things well, but then lack bottom. Tk is still the nicest toolkit I've ever used in some ways (lack of modern widgets notwithstanding), but it's freaking hard to use it for large programs because Tcl's data types suck. Ditto for perl and text slicing.
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko