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Brett Cannon

Vancouver, BC, Canada · Twitter · GitHub · LinkedIn · Website

Brett Cannon snarky.ca

Selecting a programming language can be a form of premature optimization

The bulk of this post by Brett Cannon is a detailed argument that Python makes sense to select even for projects with known performance concerns, but I got my money’s worth from the concept in the title and opener:

… it dawned on me that the problem is people are not treating language selection as potential form of premature optimization: if you select a programming language based on your preconceived notions of how a language performs, you will never know if the language that might be a better, more productive fit for your developers would have actually worked out.

Brett Cannon snarky.ca

Introducing the Python launcher for Unix

Brett Cannon:

… over 3 years ago I set out to re-implement the Python Launcher for Unix in Rust. On July 24, 2021, I launched 1.0.0 of the Python Launcher for Unix… This gives you a py command on Unix which will always use the newest version of Python.

He goes on to describe some workflow niceties that a built in and also what this project is not about:

The Launcher is purely a convenience and not meant to be The Launcher For All Things; this should never end up in a Docker container.

Brett Cannon snarky.ca

The social contract of open source

Brett Cannon, who is a Python core developer (and a tall, snarky Canadian):

I felt it was time to do another blog post to directly address the issue of entitlement by some open source users which is hurting open source, both for themselves and for others. I want to get the point across that open source maintainers owe you quite literally nothing when it comes to their open source code, and treating them poorly is unethical. And to me, this is the underlying social contract of open source. (emphasis added)

You should read the entire post, especially if you want to learn which programming language (having nothing to do with snakes) that has Brett’s attention. But I’d be remiss not to pull quote this gift of a pull quote from the end:

Every commit of open source code should be viewed as an independent gift from the maintainer that they happened to leave on their front yard for others to enjoy if they so desire; treating them as a means to and for their open source code is unethical.

Brett Cannon snarky.ca

What exactly is Python?

Brett Cannon, writing for his personal blog:

It’s no secret that I want a Python implementation for WebAssembly. It would not only get Python into the browser, but with the fact that both iOS and Android support running JavaScript as part of an app it would also get Python on to mobile. That all excites me.

But when thinking about the daunting task of creating a new implementation of Python, my brain also began asking the question of what exactly is Python?

What follows from this point in Brett’s post is a stream of consciousness writing style of question and answer, back and forth, iteration over all the points of what makes Python be Python in an attempt to consider what it might take to “compile Python down to WebAssembly.”

Brett Cannon snarky.ca

An update on Python's governance

We’ve been following along as the Python community figures out how to live that post-BDFL life. We’ll do a show on the subject once the dust to settles. In the meantime, here’s Brett Cannon on what they’ve figured out so far:

In the end PEP 8016, the steering council proposal, won. The details of the vote are available, but the key thing is that the PEP clearly won no matter what way you calculated the winner and it was a decisive win against second place.

Read Brett’s entire piece to really wrap your head around things. Nominations for the steering council start on January 7th with voting to follow on the 21st.

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