The A-Z of Programming Languages: Python

Our series on the most popular programming languages continues as we chat to Van Rossum, the man behind Python.

Where do you see computer programming languages heading in the near future?

I hope that at some point computers will have sufficient power that we don't need separate functional, dynamic, and statically typed languages, and instead can use a single language that combines the benefits of all three paradigms.

Do you have any advice for up-and-coming programmers?

Learn more than one language. It's amazing how eye-opening it can be to compare and contrast two languages.

And finally, no interview on Python would be complete without the following questions: a. How do you feel about the indentation in Python now?

It's the right thing to do from a code readability point of view, and hence from a maintenance point of view. And maintainability of code is what counts most: no program is perfect from the start, and if it is successful, it will be extended. So maintenance is a fact of life, not a necessary evil.

b. Do you favour tabs or spaces?

Definitely spaces. Four to be precise (even though the Google style guide uses two).

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Hardly; you've been very thorough. I'd like to say hi to my many Aussie fans, and I promise that one of these years I'll be visiting your country to give some talks and do a bit of snorkeling. :-)

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