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"Python" is not a good name, should rename to "Athon"

P: n/a
Python is a good programming language, but "Python" is not a good
name.

First, python also means snake, Monty Python. If we search "python" in
google, emule, many results are not programming resource. If we search
PHP, all results are programming resource.

Second, python also means snake, snake is not a good thing in western
culture. Many people dislike any things relevant to snake. We must
have high regard for the custom.

Now, python3000 is coming. It's the best time to rename!

Athon is a good candidate, you could provide better names.

In Athon, the first letter "A" could pronounce as [ e ] .
Nov 30 '07 #1
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P: n/a
ur***********@gmail.com wrote:
>Python is a good programming language, but "Python" is not a good
name.

First, python also means snake, Monty Python. If we search "python" in
google, emule, many results are not programming resource. If we search
PHP, all results are programming resource.

Second, python also means snake, snake is not a good thing in western
culture. Many people dislike any things relevant to snake. We must
have high regard for the custom.

Now, python3000 is coming. It's the best time to rename!

Athon is a good candidate, you could provide better names.

In Athon, the first letter "A" could pronounce as [ e ] .

You will be eaten by the Snake-Ra god tonight!
Nov 30 '07 #2

P: n/a
ur***********@gmail.com wrote:
Python is a good programming language, but "Python" is not a good
name.

First, python also means snake, Monty Python. If we search "python" in
google, emule, many results are not programming resource. If we search
PHP, all results are programming resource.

Second, python also means snake, snake is not a good thing in western
culture. Many people dislike any things relevant to snake. We must
have high regard for the custom.

Now, python3000 is coming. It's the best time to rename!

Athon is a good candidate, you could provide better names.

In Athon, the first letter "A" could pronounce as [ e ] .
Great, now the Google results will just be filled with AMD typoes. :-P

One downside of Athon is that "Python" makes for a good two-letter
abbreviation: py. It sounds nice (hey, pie), and since it ends in a
vowel, is good for project names: PyGTK or pytz or whatever. AtGTK and
attz don't have quite the ring.
--
Nov 30 '07 #3

P: n/a
On 2007-11-30, ur***********@gmail.com <ur***********@gmail.comwrote:
In Athon, the first letter "A" could pronounce as [ e ] .
For English speakers that pronunciation is just plain wrong.

You're trolling, right?

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! As President I have
at to go vacuum my coin
visi.com collection!
Nov 30 '07 #4

P: n/a
>In Athon, the first letter "A" could pronounce as [ e ] .
>
For English speakers that pronunciation is just plain wrong.

You're trolling, right?
Yeth, obviouthly he ith... ;)

(You'd think this was the Lisp ML, not Python... <groans>)

-tkc


Nov 30 '07 #5

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but it would mean that a version for large duration projects would be
"MarAthon" ...

Dr Tim Couper
CTO, SciVisum Ltd

www.scivisum.com

Gerardo Herzig wrote:
<div class="moz-text-flowed" style="font-family:
-moz-fixed">ur***********@gmail.com wrote:
>Python is a good programming language, but "Python" is not a good
name.

First, python also means snake, Monty Python. If we search "python" in
google, emule, many results are not programming resource. If we search
PHP, all results are programming resource.

Second, python also means snake, snake is not a good thing in western
culture. Many people dislike any things relevant to snake. We must
have high regard for the custom.

Now, python3000 is coming. It's the best time to rename!

Athon is a good candidate, you could provide better names.

In Athon, the first letter "A" could pronounce as [ e ] .

You will be eaten by the Snake-Ra god tonight!

</div>
Nov 30 '07 #6

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Tim Chase wrote:
(You'd think this was the Lisp ML, not Python... <groans>)
Atsp? :-)
--
Nov 30 '07 #7

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Tim Couper wrote:
but it would mean that a version for large duration projects would be
"MarAthon" ...
Can't decide whether you were deliberately avoiding "long-running"
there, Tim, or just missed the opportunity :)

TJG
Nov 30 '07 #8

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ur***********@gmail.com wrote:
First, python also means snake, Monty Python. If we search
"python" in google, emule, many results are not programming
resource. If we search PHP, all results are programming resource.
Who cares? No one looking for special Python programming tips will
use only "python" as search term.
Second, python also means snake, snake is not a good thing in
western culture. Many people dislike any things relevant to snake.
We must have high regard for the custom.
You're not serious, are you?

BTW, PHP has already been confused with a drug in USA.
Now, python3000 is coming. It's the best time to rename!
IMHO: No. Python has a good reputation and renaming would create
confusion.
Athon is a good candidate, you could provide better names.

In Athon, the first letter "A" could pronounce as [ e ] .
This is confusing and a boring of-the-shelf name.

Regards,
Bjrn

--
BOFH excuse #399:

We are a 100% Microsoft Shop.

Nov 30 '07 #9

P: n/a
On Nov 30, 9:58 am, ureuffyrtu...@gmail.com wrote:
Now, python3000 is coming. It's the best time to rename!
Yes, but "Thong" would be a better name,
due to the minimalist syntax and the
attraction/repulsion/catatonic revulsion effect it has with
different people from different cultural backgrounds.
-- Aaron Watters
===
http://www.xfeedme.com/nucular/pydis...=nasty+reasons
Nov 30 '07 #10

P: n/a
On Dec 1, 1:58 am, ureuffyrtu...@gmail.com wrote:
Python is a good programming language, but "Python" is not a good
name.

First, python also means snake, Monty Python. If we search "python" in
google, emule, many results are not programming resource. If we search
PHP, all results are programming resource.

Second, python also means snake, snake is not a good thing in western
culture. Many people dislike any things relevant to snake. We must
have high regard for the custom.
Pythons are good snakes; they hypnotise the meaninglessly chattering
bandarlog and eat them. Beware!
Dec 1 '07 #11

P: n/a
ur***********@gmail.com wrote:
If we search "python" in
google, emule, many results are not programming resource.
Have you actually tried this? When I do a google search
for "python", the very *first* result I get is "Python
Programming Language - Official Website".

Also, out of the first 10 results, 7 are about the
Python language, and only 3 are about snakes.

Results are likely to be even better if you include
something programming-related along with "python".
Second, python also means snake, snake is not a good thing in western
culture.
Not necessarily. A python is a sleek and powerful
creature, which are good associations for a programming
language. The word also hints at a bit of danger and
excitement. On the whole, I think it's a good name.

--
Greg
Dec 1 '07 #12

P: n/a
On Nov 30, 6:58 am, ureuffyrtu...@gmail.com wrote:
Python is a good programming language, but "Python" is not a good
name.
I agree that Python is not a good name for a programming language, but
I'm afraid we're stuck with it.

If I had invented Python, I would have called it Newton or Euler,
arguably the greatest scientist and mathematician ever, respectively.
Then again, if pigs could fly ...

Speaking of stupid names, what does "C++" mean? I think it's the grade
you get when you just barely missed a "B--". But I can't deny that it
*is* good for searching.
Dec 1 '07 #13

P: n/a
Pytn

New name "Pytn" may be better, do you think so ?
Dec 1 '07 #14

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"John Machin" <sj...exicon.netwrote:
Pythons are good snakes; they hypnotise the meaninglessly chattering
bandarlog and eat them. Beware!
What is a bandarlog - I know the bandersnatch and the boojum, but
bandarlog?

If it is something you can knit -
If I get you the wool, will you make me one?

- Hendrik

Dec 1 '07 #15

P: n/a
On Dec 1, 5:14 pm, "Hendrik van Rooyen" <m...@microcorp.co.zawrote:
"John Machin" <sj...exicon.netwrote:
Pythons are good snakes; they hypnotise the meaninglessly chattering
bandarlog and eat them. Beware!

What is a bandarlog - I know the bandersnatch and the boojum, but
bandarlog?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandar-log

Dec 1 '07 #16

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At one stage, "Monty Python's Flying Circus" was going to be called
"Owl Stretching Time".

If that had eventuated, then presumably we would all be disussing the Owl
programming language on comp.lang.owl

--
Real email address? Rule 1.
Dec 1 '07 #17

P: n/a
Russ P. wrote:
I agree that Python is not a good name for a programming language,
Why not?

BTW, is "Windows" a great name for an operating system?
If I had invented Python, I would have called it Newton or Euler,
arguably the greatest scientist and mathematician ever,
respectively. Then again, if pigs could fly ...
Really "unique" names; the OP wouldn't be happy about it when using
google ;)
Speaking of stupid names, what does "C++" mean?
It's "C incremented".
I think it's the grade you get when you just barely missed
a "B--".
So what dou you think about D language? :) Or F or F#?

Regards,
Bjrn

--
BOFH excuse #302:

microelectronic Riemannian curved-space fault in write-only file
system

Dec 1 '07 #18

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ur***********@gmail.com wrote:
New name "Pytn" may be better, do you think so ?
No. How would you pronounce it? Pai-tn?

Why don't you create a fork where the only difference is the name?

Regards,
Bjrn

--
BOFH excuse #194:

We only support a 1200 bps connection.

Dec 1 '07 #19

P: n/a
On Dec 1, 4:11 am, Bjoern Schliessmann <usenet-
mail-0306.20.chr0n...@spamgourmet.comwrote:
ureuffyrtu...@gmail.com wrote:
New name "Pytn" may be better, do you think so ?

No. How would you pronounce it? Pai-tn?

Why don't you create a fork where the only difference is the name?

Regards,

Bjrn

--
BOFH excuse #194:

We only support a 1200 bps connection.
My vote is for "Pyrotron [1] 10,000", heh. ;)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disintegrator_ray

Regards,
Jordan
Dec 1 '07 #20

P: n/a
In article <5r*************@mid.individual.net>,
greg <gr**@cosc.canterbury.ac.nzwrote:
Not necessarily. A python is a sleek and powerful
creature, which are good associations for a programming
language. The word also hints at a bit of danger and
excitement. On the whole, I think it's a good name.
I remember reading an interview with a young woman who danced with a python
across her shoulders and down her arms. The interviewer asked if she was
afraid when she danced. She replied that she was afraid that the python
would go to sleep if she didn't keep him moving.

--
David Wild using RISC OS on broadband
www.davidhwild.me.uk
Dec 1 '07 #21

P: n/a

Dotan Cohen *rta:
On 01/12/2007, Aaron Watters <aa***********@gmail.comwrote:
>On Nov 30, 9:58 am, ureuffyrtu...@gmail.com wrote:
>>Now, python3000 is coming. It's the best time to rename!
Yes, but "Thong" would be a better name,
due to the minimalist syntax and the
attraction/repulsion/catatonic revulsion effect it has with
different people from different cultural backgrounds.

Better yet, call the language "sex". Do you have any idea what kind of
publicity we'd get? Not to mention how many google searches.
man.. :)) the biggest point in this thread :DD
btw in my country not much, because we write it "szex" :DD

tsabi
Dec 1 '07 #22

P: n/a
Dotan Cohen wrote:
C was named after the B programming language, as it was inspired
and meant to replace it. C++ is obviously C+1
Strictly speaking, C++ evalutes to C, but C is incremented
afterwards.

Regards,
Bjrn

--
BOFH excuse #307:

emissions from GSM-phones

Dec 1 '07 #23

P: n/a
On Dec 1, 2007 12:34 PM, Bjoern Schliessmann
<us**************************@spamgourmet.comwrote :
Dotan Cohen wrote:
C was named after the B programming language, as it was inspired
and meant to replace it. C++ is obviously C+1

Strictly speaking, C++ evalutes to C, but C is incremented
afterwards.
I guess plus-plus-C just doesn't roll off the tongue as well...
Dec 1 '07 #24

P: n/a
On Dec 1, 2:10 am, Bjoern Schliessmann <usenet-
mail-0306.20.chr0n...@spamgourmet.comwrote:
Russ P. wrote:
I agree that Python is not a good name for a programming language,

Why not?
Think about proposing its use to someone who has never heard of it
(which I did not too long ago). As the OP pointed out, a Python is a
snake. Why should a programming language be named after a snake?
BTW, is "Windows" a great name for an operating system?
No.
Speaking of stupid names, what does "C++" mean?

It's "C incremented".
I know that. But "C" was already a dumb name, and "C++" compounded the
dumbness. Actually, "C" was probably intended as a temporary name for
internal use, but not for a widely used, standard language.
I think it's the grade you get when you just barely missed
a "B--".

So what dou you think about D language? :) Or F or F#?
I think that one-letter names are even worse for languages than they
are for variables.
Dec 1 '07 #25

P: n/a
On 2007-12-01, Bjoern Schliessmann <us**************************@spamgourmet.comwrote :
Dotan Cohen wrote:
>C was named after the B programming language, as it was inspired
and meant to replace it. C++ is obviously C+1

Strictly speaking, C++ evalutes to C, but C is incremented
afterwards.
Bjarne was only interested in the side-effect. Anyhow,
Pythonistas know it should've been called "C+=1".

--
Neil Cerutti
Dec 1 '07 #26

P: n/a

On Sat, 2007-12-01 at 12:10 -0800, Russ P. wrote:
On Dec 1, 2:10 am, Bjoern Schliessmann <usenet-
mail-0306.20.chr0n...@spamgourmet.comwrote:
Russ P. wrote:
I agree that Python is not a good name for a programming language,
Why not?

Think about proposing its use to someone who has never heard of it
(which I did not too long ago). As the OP pointed out, a Python is a
snake. Why should a programming language be named after a snake?
That's not a persuasive argument.

First of all, Python is named for a comedy troupe from England. For
comparison, Perl is named for a knitting technique, Lisp is named for a
speech impediment, Ruby is named for a rock, Smalltalk is named for a
not-so-useful form of communication, and Java is named after a beverage
or an island.

Which of those is a good name for a programming language by your
criterion? I like the name Python. It has a nice ring to it, and has
connotations that are simultaneously badass and humorous.

For that matter, why name sneakers after a goddess of justice? Why name
a car after a planet/resort town/rodent/mountain?

Because brand names are supposed to be memorable, not meaningful.

Cheers,
Cliff

Dec 1 '07 #27

P: n/a
On Dec 1, 12:47 pm, "J. Clifford Dyer" <j...@sdf.lonestar.orgwrote:
On Sat, 2007-12-01 at 12:10 -0800, Russ P. wrote:
On Dec 1, 2:10 am, Bjoern Schliessmann <usenet-
mail-0306.20.chr0n...@spamgourmet.comwrote:
Russ P. wrote:
I agree that Python is not a good name for a programming language,
Why not?
Think about proposing its use to someone who has never heard of it
(which I did not too long ago). As the OP pointed out, a Python is a
snake. Why should a programming language be named after a snake?

That's not a persuasive argument.

First of all, Python is named for a comedy troupe from England. For
comparison, Perl is named for a knitting technique, Lisp is named for a
speech impediment, Ruby is named for a rock, Smalltalk is named for a
not-so-useful form of communication, and Java is named after a beverage
or an island.

Which of those is a good name for a programming language by your
criterion?
None. None of them are good names by my criteria. But then, a name is
only a name. One of the few names I like is Pascal, because he was a
great mathematician and scientist.

After thinking about it a bit, here are examples of what I would
consider a good name for a programming language:

Newton#
Newton*
Newton+

Newton was a great scientist, and his name is easy to spell and
pronounce. The trailing character serves to disambiguate it from
Newton in online searches. For shorthand in online discussions, N#,
N*, or N+ could be used as aliases.

Names of other great scientists, mathematicians, or computer
scientists could also be used, of course. Take your pick.

How about renaming Python3000?
Dec 1 '07 #28

P: n/a
"J. Clifford Dyer" <jc*@sdf.lonestar.orgwrites:

...Perl is named for a knitting technique, Lisp is named for a
speech impediment...
I can't figure out whether you're being serious or not but, for the
record, those are not where the names of those two languages come
from.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perl#Name
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisp_programming_language
Dec 1 '07 #29

P: n/a
On Dec 2, 8:40 am, "Russ P." <Russ.Paie...@gmail.comwrote:
>
None. None of them are good names by my criteria. But then, a name is
only a name. One of the few names I like is Pascal, because he was a
great mathematician and scientist.

After thinking about it a bit, here are examples of what I would
consider a good name for a programming language:

Newton#
Newton*
Newton+

Newton was a great scientist, and his name is easy to spell and
pronounce.
Should be, but a large proportion of the population pronounce it so
that it rhymes with "hootin" as in "hootin n hollerin" :-)

Dec 1 '07 #30

P: n/a
Newton was a great scientist, and his name is easy to spell and
pronounce.

Should be, but a large proportion of the population pronounce it so
that it rhymes with "hootin" as in "hootin n hollerin" :-)
You can count me in that large proportion. 8^)

By the way, after thinking about it a bit, here's a good name for
Python3000:

Newton1

The appended 1 serves to disambiguate the name from that of a late,
great scientist. It could be called N1 for short.

The 1 also serves to identify the major version. If it ever undergoes
a major revision (as in Python3000), it could then be called Newton2,
but that would not be done more than once per decade or so.
Dec 1 '07 #31

P: n/a
Russ P. *rta:
>>Newton was a great scientist, and his name is easy to spell and
pronounce.
Should be, but a large proportion of the population pronounce it so
that it rhymes with "hootin" as in "hootin n hollerin" :-)

You can count me in that large proportion. 8^)

The 1 also serves to identify the major version. If it ever undergoes
a major revision (as in Python3000), it could then be called Newton2,
but that would not be done more than once per decade or so.
Lets evaluate from the Python3000: Newton3 (N3).

+1 vote from me :)

tsabi
Dec 2 '07 #32

P: n/a
Dotan Cohen wrote:
C++ is obviously C+1, ie, what comes after C.
Although it was a bit rude to choose the destructive form
C++ instead of C+1. Many programmers are quite happy with
C as it is and don't want their language overwritten!

Also there's the rather confusing fact that the value of
the expression C++ is actually C. So when using C++ you
only get to take away the old language, and you have to
leave the new one behind in its place...

--
Greg
Dec 2 '07 #33

P: n/a
Tth Csaba wrote:
Lets evaluate from the Python3000: Newton3 (N3).

+1 vote from me :)
Nah.

BTW, why exactly do you keep using an X-Face header completely
identical to mine?

Regards,
Bjrn

--
BOFH excuse #364:

Sand fleas eating the Internet cables

Dec 2 '07 #34

P: n/a
On Dec 1, 4:57 pm, Bjoern Schliessmann <usenet-
mail-0306.20.chr0n...@spamgourmet.comwrote:
Tth Csaba wrote:
Lets evaluate from the Python3000: Newton3 (N3).
+1 vote from me :)

Nah.
Python is an "acceptable" name, but Newton1 (or Newton3) would be a
great name. Shouldn't a great language have a great name? I think so.
And I think Python3000 is a great opportunity to give it a great name.

Of course, if Guido disagrees, I can always use

alias newton=python

Ah, the wonder of unix.

Dec 2 '07 #35

P: n/a
Heck, lots of names are take:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabe...ming_languages
I am surprised to see that Newton is not taken. I urge
Guido to take it while it is still available. Sir Isaac
certainly deserves the honor.
Dec 2 '07 #36

P: n/a
On Dec 1, 9:06 pm, Dennis Lee Bieber <wlfr...@ix.netcom.comwrote:
Pythons are big, non-poisonous snakes good for keeping the rats out
of a system <G>
I'm looking forward to Spider(TM), the first bug-free language ;-)
Dec 2 '07 #37

P: n/a
"John Machin" <sj******@lexicon.netwrote:

On Dec 1, 5:14 pm, "Hendrik van Rooyen" <m...@microcorp.co.zawrote:
"John Machin" <sj...exicon.netwrote:
Pythons are good snakes; they hypnotise the meaninglessly chattering
bandarlog and eat them. Beware!
What is a bandarlog - I know the bandersnatch and the boojum, but
bandarlog?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandar-log
Thanks - should have known that, have read Kipling, but
seems that too much Alzheimer's Light has done for me.

- Hendrik

Dec 2 '07 #38

P: n/a
"Russ P." <Ru...gmail.comwrote:
I am surprised to see that Newton is not taken. I urge
Guido to take it while it is still available. Sir Isaac
certainly deserves the honor.
Does he? Are you aware of how he treated Hooke?

He was a great technician, but as a person, you would
not have had him marry your sister.

- 1 on this silly "Newton" idea.

- Hendrik
Dec 2 '07 #39

P: n/a
On Dec 1, 11:34 pm, "Hendrik van Rooyen" <m...@microcorp.co.zawrote:
"Russ P." <Ru...gmail.comwrote:
I am surprised to see that Newton is not taken. I urge
Guido to take it while it is still available. Sir Isaac
certainly deserves the honor.

Does he? Are you aware of how he treated Hooke?

He was a great technician, but as a person, you would
not have had him marry your sister.

- 1 on this silly "Newton" idea.

- Hendrik
I neither know nor care much about Newton's personality and social
graces, but I can assure you that he was more than a "technician" (no
offense to technicians).

If you just read the Wikipedia preamble about him you will realize
that he is arguably the greatest scientist who ever lived. Sorry for
the inefficient use of bandwidth, but I just couldn't refrain from
copying it here:

Sir Isaac Newton FRS (pronounced /ˈnjuːtən/) (4 January 1643 – 31
March 1727) [ OS: 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727][1] was an English
physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and
alchemist. His treatise Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica,
published in 1687, described universal gravitation and the three laws
of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics, which
dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next
three centuries and is the basis for modern engineering. He showed
that the motions of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are
governed by the same set of natural laws by demonstrating the
consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary motion and his theory
of gravitation, thus removing the last doubts about heliocentrism and
advancing the scientific revolution.

In mechanics, Newton enunciated the principles of conservation of
momentum and angular momentum. In optics, he invented the reflecting
telescope and developed a theory of colour based on the observation
that a prism decomposes white light into a visible spectrum. He also
formulated an empirical law of cooling and studied the speed of sound.

In mathematics, Newton shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for
the development of the calculus. He also demonstrated the generalized
binomial theorem, developed the so-called "Newton's method" for
approximating the zeroes of a function, and contributed to the study
of power series.

In a 2005 poll of the Royal Society of who had the greatest effect on
the history of science, Newton was deemed more influential than Albert
Einstein.[2]
Dec 2 '07 #40

P: n/a
Russ P. wrote:
Python is an "acceptable" name, but Newton1 (or Newton3) would be
a great name.
Nah, I like Monty and Snakes. Newton already has his name as unit
for kg*m/s^2. :)

Regards,
Bjrn

--
BOFH excuse #74:

You're out of memory

Dec 2 '07 #41

P: n/a
On Sat, 01 Dec 2007 23:55:32 -0800, Russ P. wrote:
I neither know nor care much about Newton's personality and social
graces, but I can assure you that he was more than a "technician" (no
offense to technicians).

If you just read the Wikipedia preamble about him you will realize that
he is arguably the greatest scientist who ever lived.
"Arguably" is right.

Please, stop with the fanboy squeeing over Newton. Enough is enough.
Newton has already received far more than his share of honours.

He might have been a great intellectual but he was no scientist. It's
only by ignoring the vast bulk of his work -- work which Newton himself
considered *far* more important and interesting than his work on physics
and mathematics -- that we can even *pretend* he was a scientist.

Newton was arrogant, deceitful, secretive, and hostile to other peoples
ideas. Arrogance sometimes goes hand in hand with intellectual
brilliance, and there's no doubt that Newton was brilliant, but the last
three are especially toxic for good science. His feuds against two of his
intellectual equals, Leibniz and Hooke, held mathematics and the sciences
back significantly. They weren't the only two: he feuded with Astronomer
Royal John Flamsteed, John Locke, and apparently more tradesmen than
anyone has counted. He held grudges, and did his best to ruin those who
crossed him.

Historians of science draw a fairly sharp line in the history of what
used to be called "natural philosophy" (what we now call science). That
line is clearly drawn *after* Newton: as John Maynard Smith has said,
Newton was the last and greatest of the magicians, not the first of the
scientists. He was first and foremost a theologian and politician, an
alchemist, a religious heretic obsessed with End Times, and (when he
wasn't being secretive and isolating himself from others) a shameless
self-promoter unwilling to share the spotlight.

The myth of Newton the scientist is pernicious. Even those who recognise
his long periods of unproductive work, his wasted years writing about the
end of the world, his feuds, his secrecy and his unprofessional grudges
against other natural philosophers, still describe him as a great
scientist -- despite the fact that Newton's way of working is anathema to
science. The myth of science being about the lone genius dies hard,
especially in popular accounts of science. Science is a collaborative
venture, like Open Source, and it relies on openness and cooperation, two
traits almost entirely missing in Newton.

There is no doubt that Newton was a great intellect. His influence on
mechanics (including astronomy) was grand and productive; that on optics
was mixed, but his alchemical writings have had no influence on modern
chemistry. Newton's calculus has been virtually put aside in favour of
Leibniz's terminology and notation. The great bulk of his work, his
theological writings, had little influence at the time and no lasting
influence at all.

Newton was lucky to live at a time of great intellectual activity. Had he
lived thirty years earlier, his secrecy would almost certainly have meant
that his discoveries, such as they were, would have died with him. Had he
lived thirty years later, others like Leibniz, Hooke, the Bernoullis, or
others, would have made his discoveries ahead of him -- perhaps a few
years or a decade later, but they would have done so, as Leibniz
independently came up with calculus.

There's no doubt that Newton was a genius and an important figure in the
history of science, but to describe him as a scientist is to distort both
the way Newton worked and the way science works. By all means give him
credit for what he did and what he was, but don't pretend he was
something that he was not.
--
Steven
Dec 2 '07 #42

P: n/a
He might have been a great intellectual but he was no scientist. It's
only by ignoring the vast bulk of his work -- work which Newton himself
considered *far* more important and interesting than his work on physics
and mathematics -- that we can even *pretend* he was a scientist.
The fact that someone studies theology does not mean that he cannot
also be considered a scientist. And if the person who discovered the
inverse-square law of universal gravitation is not a "scientist," I
don't know who is.

At the time, no one else had even made the connection between things
falling on earth and the motion of the stars and planets. Sure, it
seems obvious to you and me, but it was far from obvious then.

In any case, Newton is just one example of a great mathematician/
scientist whose name could be used for a programming language.

Euler was an amazing mathematician (and also a nice guy with a large
family). His name would be great too, except that it's apparently
already taken. I don't know how widely used the Euler language is, but
if it is just some obscure language, then the name could perhaps still
be used. The other problem with Euler is that its pronunciation is not
obvious from the spelling.

Here's another interesting possibility: Pythagoras. It starts off with
the same first four letters as Python. Everyone's heard of the theorem
named after him (although he apparently did not discover it himself).
The main drawback here is that the name is a bit long at ten
characters.
Dec 2 '07 #43

P: n/a
Russ P. wrote:
I am surprised to see that Newton is not taken.
Not for a language, but there is a physics simulation
library called Newton -- which is a more appropriate
use of the name, I think. To me, he's more associated
with physics than mathematics.

If you want a really appropriate name for a programming
language, I'd suggest Babbage. (not for Python, though!)

--
Greg
Dec 3 '07 #44

P: n/a
On Dec 2, 4:47 am, Steven D'Aprano <st...@REMOVE-THIS-
cybersource.com.auwrote:
On Sat, 01 Dec 2007 23:55:32 -0800, Russ P. wrote:
I neither know nor care much about Newton's personality and social
graces, but I can assure you that he was more than a "technician" (no
offense to technicians).
If you just read the Wikipedia preamble about him you will realize that
he is arguably the greatest scientist who ever lived.

"Arguably" is right.

Please, stop with the fanboy squeeing over Newton. Enough is enough.
Newton has already received far more than his share of honours.

He might have been a great intellectual but he was no scientist. It's
only by ignoring the vast bulk of his work -- work which Newton himself
considered *far* more important and interesting than his work on physics
and mathematics -- that we can even *pretend* he was a scientist.

Newton was arrogant, deceitful, secretive, and hostile to other peoples
ideas. Arrogance sometimes goes hand in hand with intellectual
brilliance, and there's no doubt that Newton was brilliant, but the last
three are especially toxic for good science. His feuds against two of his
intellectual equals, Leibniz and Hooke, held mathematics and the sciences
back significantly. They weren't the only two: he feuded with Astronomer
Royal John Flamsteed, John Locke, and apparently more tradesmen than
anyone has counted. He held grudges, and did his best to ruin those who
crossed him.

Historians of science draw a fairly sharp line in the history of what
used to be called "natural philosophy" (what we now call science). That
line is clearly drawn *after* Newton: as John Maynard Smith has said,
Newton was the last and greatest of the magicians, not the first of the
scientists. He was first and foremost a theologian and politician, an
alchemist, a religious heretic obsessed with End Times, and (when he
wasn't being secretive and isolating himself from others) a shameless
self-promoter unwilling to share the spotlight.

The myth of Newton the scientist is pernicious. Even those who recognise
his long periods of unproductive work, his wasted years writing about the
end of the world, his feuds, his secrecy and his unprofessional grudges
against other natural philosophers, still describe him as a great
scientist -- despite the fact that Newton's way of working is anathema to
science. The myth of science being about the lone genius dies hard,
especially in popular accounts of science. Science is a collaborative
venture, like Open Source, and it relies on openness and cooperation, two
traits almost entirely missing in Newton.

There is no doubt that Newton was a great intellect. His influence on
mechanics (including astronomy) was grand and productive; that on optics
was mixed, but his alchemical writings have had no influence on modern
chemistry. Newton's calculus has been virtually put aside in favour of
Leibniz's terminology and notation. The great bulk of his work, his
theological writings, had little influence at the time and no lasting
influence at all.
Being fair, the bulk of Liebniz' writings have also been rejected by
those in related fields. Most modern metaphysicians hold a view closer
to Boston Personalism or at least post-Kantian Personalism (a la
Buber), than monadic unity and pre-established harmony, a la Liebniz.
It is an instance of the genetic fallacy to reject the achievements of
a person in one field, simply because of their failures in another.
Newton was lucky to live at a time of great intellectual activity. Had he
lived thirty years earlier, his secrecy would almost certainly have meant
that his discoveries, such as they were, would have died with him. Had he
lived thirty years later, others like Leibniz, Hooke, the Bernoullis, or
others, would have made his discoveries ahead of him -- perhaps a few
years or a decade later, but they would have done so, as Leibniz
independently came up with calculus.

There's no doubt that Newton was a genius and an important figure in the
history of science, but to describe him as a scientist is to distort both
the way Newton worked and the way science works. By all means give him
credit for what he did and what he was, but don't pretend he was
something that he was not.

--
Steven
That said, I think this whole "rename python" thing is silly.

Regards,
Jordan
Dec 3 '07 #45

P: n/a
On Mon, 03 Dec 2007 02:12:17 -0800, MonkeeSage wrote:
Being fair, the bulk of Liebniz' writings have also been rejected by
those in related fields. Most modern metaphysicians hold a view closer
to Boston Personalism or at least post-Kantian Personalism (a la Buber),
than monadic unity and pre-established harmony, a la Liebniz. It is an
instance of the genetic fallacy to reject the achievements of a person
in one field, simply because of their failures in another.
I'm not suggesting that Leibniz was any more of a scientist than Newton
was, nor am I suggesting that Newton's achievements should be *rejected*
(er, except for those pesky Quantum Mechanics and Relativity things...).
I'm just saying that we should understand Newton for what he actually
was, and not based on the 18th Century revisionism.
--
Steven
Dec 3 '07 #46

P: n/a
On Dec 3, 7:23 am, Steven D'Aprano <st...@REMOVE-THIS-
cybersource.com.auwrote:
On Mon, 03 Dec 2007 02:12:17 -0800, MonkeeSage wrote:
Being fair, the bulk of Liebniz' writings have also been rejected by
those in related fields. Most modern metaphysicians hold a view closer
to Boston Personalism or at least post-Kantian Personalism (a la Buber),
than monadic unity and pre-established harmony, a la Liebniz. It is an
instance of the genetic fallacy to reject the achievements of a person
in one field, simply because of their failures in another.

I'm not suggesting that Leibniz was any more of a scientist than Newton
was, nor am I suggesting that Newton's achievements should be *rejected*
(er, except for those pesky Quantum Mechanics and Relativity things...).
I'm just saying that we should understand Newton for what he actually
was, and not based on the 18th Century revisionism.

--
Steven
Fair enough. Understanding a person in their own context, especially
given the modern tendency to appropriate anything remotely similar to
the modern view as their own, is a rare quality (at least among
philosophers). I'm not a 'Newtonian fanboy' as it were, I just dislike
the uniformitarian push for a "one right view" of physics/metaphysics,
as if there were no room for innovation!

Regards,
Jordan
Dec 3 '07 #47

P: n/a
On Dec 3, 5:23 am, Steven D'Aprano
I'm not suggesting that Leibniz was any more of a scientist than Newton
was, nor am I suggesting that Newton's achievements should be *rejected*
(er, except for those pesky Quantum Mechanics and Relativity things...).
I'm just saying that we should understand Newton for what he actually
was, and not based on the 18th Century revisionism.
Your claim that Newton was "not a scientist" says more about you than
it does about him. He is widely regarded -- by physicists and many
other scientists -- not only as a scientist, but as the most important
one who ever lived.

That is obviously a matter of opinion, so it would be rather silly to
argue the matter. But the idea that he was not even a scientist is one
that I have never heard from anyone but you.

Why anyone would hold a personal grudge against someone who lived
centuries ago is beyond me. I suspect it is perhaps because you don't
care for Newton's theology.

As for that "pesky relativity thing," some physicists claim that
Newton's physics (as opposed to interpretations, simplifications, and
revisions by others) were actually consistent with relativity. I think
Newton was smarter than you realize.

His name would be a great honor for a programming to have. But, alas,
it appears that many in the Python community prefer a snake that is
half the name of a comedy team. So be it. As I said before, a name is
just a name. It might as well be called "cockroach" as far as I am
concerned.
Dec 3 '07 #48

P: n/a
On 2007-12-03, Russ P. <Ru**********@gmail.comwrote:
On Dec 3, 5:23 am, Steven D'Aprano
>I'm not suggesting that Leibniz was any more of a scientist
than Newton was, nor am I suggesting that Newton's
achievements should be *rejected* (er, except for those pesky
Quantum Mechanics and Relativity things...). I'm just saying
that we should understand Newton for what he actually was, and
not based on the 18th Century revisionism.

Your claim that Newton was "not a scientist" says more about
you than it does about him. He is widely regarded -- by
physicists and many other scientists -- not only as a
scientist, but as the most important one who ever lived.
To paraphrase Bertrand Russell, Newton was too successful.
Over-veneration of Newton was eventually an impediment to
progress--this was not, of course, his fault.

--
Neil Cerutti
Dec 3 '07 #49

P: n/a
On Dec 3, 2007 4:40 PM, Russ P. <Ru**********@gmail.comwrote:
As I said before, a name is
just a name. It might as well be called "cockroach" as far as I am
concerned.

Unluckily "the Beatles" was already taken :-)

francesco
Dec 3 '07 #50

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