OT: The Straight Dope

Discussion in 'Python' started by Jeff Bauer, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. Jeff Bauer

    Jeff Bauer Guest

    As a longtime reader (20+ years) of Cecil Adams'
    "Straight Dope" columns, I was amused to find a
    brief mention of Python programming in today's
    response to the following question.

    "What's the 'Scroll Lock' key on my computer for?"

    http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mscrolllock.html

    "However, programmers, being loath to let extraneous
    keys sit unused on a keyboard, have found use for
    [backquote] as an operator in the LISP and Python
    programming languages."

    if-tim-is-sherlock-then-cecil-must-be-mycroft-ly y'rs,

    Jeff Bauer
    Rubicon Research
     
    Jeff Bauer, Oct 7, 2003
    #1
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  2. It might have something to do with the CMU Common Lisp compiler, also
    named Python ?

    Just my 2 cents...
    Bruno
     
    Bruno Desthuilliers, Oct 7, 2003
    #2
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  3. Jeff Bauer

    Andrew Dalke Guest

    Bruno Desthuilliers:
    No. Backticks are another way of doing repr. Few use it.

    Andrew
     
    Andrew Dalke, Oct 7, 2003
    #3
  4. Woops. I forgot this...
    as you say : '"Few use it." !-)

    Bruno
     
    Bruno Desthuilliers, Oct 8, 2003
    #4
  5. Jeff Bauer

    Nick Vargish Guest

    Just a correction; the SD article quoted in the previous post was
    written by a Staff Reporter ("Una Persson"), not the exalted
    Cecil Adams himself.

    I did think it was funny that Python was mentioned, but Perl was
    slighted -- backticks are much more common in Perl code than in
    Python code, at least in my experience.

    Nick
     
    Nick Vargish, Oct 8, 2003
    #5
  6. Although in Python, it's now sitting there as an
    almost-unused operator, which isn't much better a
    fate.

    I propose we rescue "`" from this sadly neglected status
    and use it for the matrix multiplication operator that
    was much sought after in certain circles a while back...
     
    Greg Ewing (using news.cis.dfn.de), Oct 13, 2003
    #6
  7. Hey, the C-shell in UNIX uses backquote also... I do *not*
    know about bash, ksh, or sh.
     
    Charles Richmond, Oct 26, 2003
    #7
  8. Jeff Bauer

    Nick Vargish Guest

    I believe the Bourne shell is where the backticks as "execute string
    and replace with output" began. BTW, you should learn a Bourne shell
    (I like zsh, but bash is okay, ksh and sh are a little basic for
    interactive use) -- very few system scripts are written in C-shell. In
    fact, C-shell programming generally seems to be deprecated in most
    environments.

    Nick
     
    Nick Vargish, Oct 27, 2003
    #8
  9. .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    <URL: http://frmb.org/csh_whynot.html > canonically
    summarizes why csh programming is naughty and ener-
    vating.
     
    Cameron Laird, Oct 27, 2003
    #9
  10. Jeff Bauer

    joe Guest

    joe, Oct 27, 2003
    #10
  11. Nick Vargish fed this fish to the penguins on Monday 27 October 2003
    09:47 am:
    Though, if I may drag in some decade old history, tcsh was quite
    comfortable to someone used to the Amiga's CLI -- no experience with
    actual scripting, but at the interactive level when I had a shell
    account with Netcom, using tcsh minimized confusion between the two
    systems.


    --
     
    Dennis Lee Bieber, Oct 28, 2003
    #11
  12. Jeff Bauer

    Nick Vargish Guest

    Right, tcsh wasn't bad as an interactive shell; until zsh showed up,
    it was probably the best choice since it had a number of features that
    sh lacked (filename completion being the big one, but the history
    facilities were handy too).

    The papers cited by other posters, which I was too lazy to google for,
    are mostly arguments against programming in (t)csh.

    It's nice to be able to write off-the-cuff scripts on the command line
    in the same language you write your system admin scripts in. That's
    why zsh and bash are so great -- all the interactive features of tcsh
    (and more!) in a regular and sane Bourne syntax.

    Nick
     
    Nick Vargish, Oct 28, 2003
    #12
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