Zed Shaw, Digital Patriot

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A lot of people don’t like Zed Shaw. He comes off as abrasive, arrogant, and annoying. It’s too bad, because I love what he does (beyond his technical contributions to the Universe).

Most recently, Zed has turned his sights to Python. He recently published some criticism of Python. As a Java to Python convert, a lot of it resonated with me.

I need to do some documenation for the Lamson APIs, so I figured that PyDoc could generate them in HTML. This turned into a 2 hour yak shaving expedition into Python documentation tools which demonstrated that all of them just either don’t work, or seriously miss the basics of what a real programmer needs to generate documentation.

I was not happy with Guido’s response to the issues raised. Rather than 1.) saying “yeap. there are still a few kinks to work out, or 2.)”here’s why things are like that”, he resorted to an attitude of “well, until you fix it, your complaints aren’t legit”.

First, let me declare that I heart Guido. He is awesome, as is Python. That’s why I’m so sad. I want Guido to be a shining beacon of EVERYTHING, huility and openness included.

Even if he didn’t mean to be flip, it’s very easy to interpret Guido as the comic book guy from The Simpsons. Worst. Python. Critique. Ever.

In the end, I would like to see legitimate, and relatively politely put crticisms by someone with as much nerd-cred as Zed, responded to with a teeny bit more thought than “well you’re an idiot”.

I’m glad Zed exists. I’m glad he cares enough to take people to task and question things.

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