Python: Basic of the future !?!

April 28th, 2009

Guido van Rossum has been blogging about the lack of support for optimizing tail recursion in Python (he’s agin it). His most recent post, Final Words on Tail Calls, includes this paragraph near the end.

‘And here it ends. One other thing I learned is that some in the academic world scornfully refer to Python as “the Basic of the future”. Personally, I rather see that as a badge of honor, and it gives me an opportunity to plug a book of interviews with language designers to which I contributed, side by side with the creators of Basic, C++, Perl, Java, and other academically scorned languages — as well as those of ML and Haskell, I hasten to add. (Apparently the creators of Scheme were too busy arguing whether to say “tail call optimization” or “proper tail recursion.” :-)’

I’ve not yet been able to track down any sources calling Python the ‘Basic of the future’ — all I could find is one person who referred to Java this way and another referring to Javascript. But for a programming language, it is a great slur, or maybe, to take Guido’s stance, a great compliment.