FAQ

Luis M. Gonz?lez wrote:
Will Microsoft hurt Python?
I think it is naive to ignore the fact that Microsoft could hurt Python,
though there may be nothing anyone can do.
How?
- create a more prevalent version of "Python" that is less Pythonic or
undermines some of the principles of the language, basically usurping
Python as we conceive it in the process;
- create an incompatible version, so that Python "portability" is
dependent upon the programmer porting his code to two separate versions
("JavaScript" comes to mind);
- create a poor implementation of Python so that programmers try the MS
version first, find it lacking, and decide Python is a poor language...
tarnishing the reputation of the language and its adoption...

I'm sure there are more ways MS (or any powerful entity developing
another version of Python) could hurt Python. You have to look beyond
the freedom of the individual to choose to the context that individual
operates within.

Defenses? Maybe enforcing a trademark of "Python" as a programming
language name - if it is registered and enforceable - clearly
"IronPython plays on the Python" name (Pepsi wouldn't be allowed to sell
IronCoke, would they? without Coca Cola's permission...)
If sometime in the future, MS decides to modify the language by
creating something different, you'll have the choice to decide whether
you like it or not.
Nobody will steal Python, it is free and it will always be.
What's more, if you decide that you want to use Python on .Net and you
don't ike the official Microsoft release, you can fork it (the code is
freely available) and you can call it "MyGroovyNewLanguage" if you
want.

Right now there are other languages based and inspired in Python (Boo
for example) that run on .Net and Mono, and they are useful and have an
enthusiast comunity behind them. It's good to have many choices and
it's good to be free to choose.
I'm not too worried, but the rich and powerful can always do more with
freedom than the average person; sometimes at the expense of the average
person.
Although it's also very good to have a main implementation, lead by its
creator, who will always take care that there will be a pure and
legitimate Python for those who like it just the way it is.

Luis
Alot of very smart and/or good folks have worked to make Python the neat
language it is, and hopefully a "main", excellent version of Python will
always have this.

And if the whole world goes .Net, well, Python won't be left out
entirely, it appears.

I'd agree that meanwhile there's little reason to panic - whatever the
future brings, it seems panicking does little good, except for arms
merchants and sellers of duct tape and flashlight batteries.


Anyway, the next Microsoft is Google.

And they have Guido already.


[tongue in cheek!]


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postedJan 3, '06 at 8:35p
activeJan 12, '06 at 4:50p
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