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Ugh, stop twitching
python, no like
coding Posted 2001-04-25 01:10:00 by Jim Crawford
I take any opportunity I can to make Guido van Rossum (perpetrator of Python, undoubtedly the most vile of programming languages currently enjoying mainstream usage) look like an idiot, so you can imagine how delighted I was to find that in a recent interview on Slashdot, he excreted:
“... one of my reasons against adding Scheme-style continuations to [Python] is that it can't be implemented in a JVM.”
That's funny. I could've sworn Java was Turing-complete.
[link to this] [See more on “coding”]

comments
One small flaw
Posted by AdamMil on 2002-08-28 12:28:52
While I can't argue against trying to make somebody that designed a language with syntactically significant whitespace look like an idiot, I can argue this article.

Take C, for instance -- the latest incarnation, C99. Try to write a simple web page grabber. You'd soon find that it'd be impossible, as C and its standard library provide no way to access a network, and no way to access the hardware directly.

Eventually, you'd have to use a language (directly or by linking to a library) that did give you access to the hardware, like assembly... or C++.

So even though I'd like to think C is Turing-complete, it can't do everything either.
re: One small flaw
Posted by Jim Crawford on 2003-02-21 15:27:04
I've been meaning to respond to this once I found out what continuations actually were, but that's probably not going to happen soon since it's not a priority for me at this point. I'll try to come up with a response anyways.

Essentially, this functionality that you describe as missing from C is a matter of I/O. Turing machines can only solve a problem if they have access to all the necessary data. Continuations don't fall under the category of I/O (I know this much). They're a flow control mechanism, similar in functionality to a mutable call stack.

Oh, and I'd also like to point out that not only do I now like Python quite a bit, but I can't believe I ever thought it was the most vile of all mainstream languages. Clearly, that title belongs to Visual Basic and its eldritch brood.
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