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Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

For those who have moved on since the days of GWBASIC, everybody (other than you apparently) indents their code in a way which is intended to convey meaning about it.

Just because most languages are uncaring about indentation, it does not follow that the programmers who use them are bone idle scruffy devs churning out unreadable code. Most serious coding standards require code to be correctly formatted. For example, try getting scruffy C code past Linus Torvalds.

Differing amounts of white space alter the meaning of programs in all programming languages - in the eyes of the programmer for whose benefit those visual cues are present.

A programmer relying on the outline shape of their code for clues to its behaviour aren't paying enough attention. How can something that you can't see, i.e. white space, act as a visual cue as to what's going to happen when you run it? Python gives you no help in this. In contrast, a curly brace, being visible, printable, and unambiguous, is a visual cue, which is why the better coding standards require them to be on their own line.

The fact that in most programming languages indentation level doesn't alter the meaning of the program in the "eyes" of the compiler is a major problem.

No, it's a major advantage. Furthermore it makes it possible to use a code beautifier to ensure that the code is neat, and a decent static analysis tool can point out where style problems have been typed. Python's problem is that it can look neat, and therefore is susceptible to being accepted as correct because only a human can pronounce on its correctness, but can in fact be utterly wrong.

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