neither does Guido
The first day of EuroPython 2012 was an interesting one. Mainly due to the presence of Guido van Rossum, of course. The BDFL had a keynote and a Q&A session, with the questions being submitted and rated through Google Moderator (yeah, me neither). Both my questions got in so I'm happy with the mechanism.
Now, even if Guido was all business-like and refused to talk about things related to his employer, he was not shy about the status of Python 3 adoption (only 5-6 subjects using it among hundreds present). But he carries on, anyway. When it comes to changes to facilitate backwards compatibility, he said that the u"foo" notation for unicode strings (redundant in py3k because strings are unicode by default) is the last concession in this direction. He does not want python 2 to die, he just won't fix any bugs in it "if it's so perfect" :-)
About a written language specification (as opposed to "python is what CPython does") he said that it's too hard for a specification to cover all aspects of the language. So there. Python as a language doesn't strive for simplicity like Scheme or Lua so we have incompatible implementations as developers reverse engineer the specs on their own. Something to keep in mind if you ever write your own language. You also might want to take a hint from the "we don't have a VM" bit. CPython's bytecode is undocumented and subject to changes from one version to another so targeting the CPython virtual machine at the bytecode level like you would with Java, parrot or LLVM is virtually impossible.
The lightning talks brought the highlight of the evening: Łukasz Langa with his "I regret nothing (you can't judge me)" rant (the slides are up, but you'll want to see the video, trust me). Hilarious, perfectly delivered, full of memes and breaking the mold of preaching the good word while doing the nasty behind the curtains. Absolutely refreshing.
Category: EuroPython 2012