Saturday, September 06, 2008

Python Gets Out...

Python seems to keep turning up in the most unusual places.  Today I went to the library and borrowed a couple of books on graphic design to assist in making some layout decisions for the book I'm working on.  One was a book I'd read before, Editing By Design, which I'd used to help with the design of my earlier book, "You, Version 2.0".  The other was a book called (appropriately enough) "The Layout Book".  I was skimming through it, when I came across a page with this near the bottom (I've elided a few items from the middle):

"Simple is better than complicated.
Quiet is better than loud.
Unobtrusive is better than exciting.
Small is better than large.
...
The obvious is better than that which must be sought.
Few elements are better than many.
A system is better than single elements."

The block of text was a quote, attributed to one Dieter Rams.  "Wow," I thought, "I wonder if Tim Peters's Zen of Python was a play off of this..."

Then I turn the page.

At the very top of a collection of "methodologies", I see:

"Python philosophy

Derived from computer programming, the main points of the Python approach were presented by developer Tim Peters in The Zen of Python.   Key points include: beautiful is better than ugly, explicit is better than implicit..."

Small world, eh?

--PJ

P.S. I'm still amused by the mentions of Python in Charles Stross's science fiction novels, especially the one where the future hero is described as doing his game programming work in Python 3000, almost as if it were some highly-futuristic language.  ;-)

P.P.S. In case you hadn't guessed, the reason I'm not doing more programming (or blogging about programming) right now is because I'm working on the book...  in which, incidentally, I'm attempting to take a truly algorithmic approach -- not to mention a highly test-driven one -- to such diverse matters as motivation, belief, creativity, time management, and even optimism.