Friday, December 01, 2006

Lost memories : Tech Talk by Guido in Google

Some time back there was a tech talk in Google given by Guido about Python 3000. I blogged live from the talk, but never came around to publishing it publically. So, here's it, copying as it is.
"Hi, I'm Guido. Creator of Python Programming Language. I joined Google last december, and its great working here."

Idea behind Python 3000:
- Dun design a new language.
- Lot of bug fixes, even old ones from 90~91.
- Dun become Perl 6

- backward compatibility
- migration of code from 2.x to 3.x

- Certain python features from 3.x will be provided to 2.x as well
- Development of 2.x and 3.x will go parallel
- 2.6 - certainly, 2.7 likely, beyond 2.9 never!

- All string unicode by default
- dict.keys(), range(), and zip() won't return List
- keys() shd have iterator
- Drop <> as alias for !=
- Redesign I/O library. Currently based upon C I/O library. Core dump in C is fine, but not in Python. Need to know how many bytes are already buffered, while doing I/O (?).

NOT going to DO:
- change hash, keys to attributes - dict.keys() to dict.keys
- have programmable syntax / macros
- change look and feel of language
- add radical new features (can always do it later!)

- Use pychecker to do an 80-90% job - but can't do it with certainity.
- warns about doomed code - like dict.keys().sort() (Note, dict.keys() is no longer a List. Its an iterator. Do I agree with Guido on this? Probably not!).

Some operations:
- In 2.x -> x//y will return float, not x/y!
- In 3.x -> If x and y are Integers: x/y will return float.
- Say "if key in dict" rather than dict.has_key()

- Kill classic classes. Classic classes will no longer exist in 3000
- Exceptions must derive from BaseException
- Remove last differences b/w int and long
- Scenario: Suppose you have a sub module named sys, whenever, you say "import sys", it will utilize the sub module, rather than the python library.
3.x - When you say "import sys", it will always get python library. To utilize your sub module named sys, you need to say "import .sys"
- Kill ancient library modules

Minor changes:
- exec becomes function again
- [f(x) for x in S] is a syntactic sugar for list(f(x) for x in S)
- kill raise E,arg in favor of raise E(arg)
- print no longer a statement!
- print x,y,z becomes print(x,y,z)
- print >> f, x, y, z becomes print(x,y,z, file=f)
- alternative to skip the space/newline:
- print (format, x, y, z)?
Why not f.print(x,y,z):
- some file types dun have print method. they have write method.

- x == y. If x is completely diff type than y, return false
- x < y. has a random decision based upon location in memory, but its problamatic in jython, where objects can move in memory.
- Raise TypeError exception

Check PEP245/246 - take an object to the type, so that the return object is either the same type, or at least behaves as that type.

- Read PEP 3100 for a much larger laundry list.
- follow the list:
- range() no longer returns list, use xrange
- bytes and str instead of str and unicode
- bytes have some str-ish methods like b1.find(b2), but not others like b1.upper()

I/O Stack:
- C stdio has problems:
- dunno how many bytes are in the buffer

Lambda lives!
- Last year Guido wanted lambda to die!
- lambda has hard core following of people, who tried convincing.
- We still dun have a better version, even after an year of trying!
- lambda lives!

Quotations by Guido (including random jokes):
- "I had no life, so I created Python!"
- "To start developing a great software, you'd be having no life outside!" (i lost the essence! :()
- "I'm going to believe my gut feeling on this, and its getting bigger!"

Python Sprint @ Google
Aug 21 - 24. Where: NY, and MV
What: Hack Python 2.6 and Python 3000, 2.5 bug fixing

Update: Ola pointed out that the video is available on Google Video.