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Python Creator Guido van Rossum Leaves Google For Dropbox

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the they-just-typed-import-guido dept.

Python 261

New submitter mrvan writes "Guido van Rossum, the proclaimed Python Benevolent Dictator For Life, has left Google to work for Dropbox. In their announcement, Dropbox says they relied heavily on Python from the beginning, citing a mix of simplicity, flexibility, and elegance, and are excited to have GvR on the team. While this is, without a doubt, good news for Dropbox, the big question is what this will mean for Python (and for Google)."

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261 comments

Python VS PHP (-1, Flamebait)

BirdParrot (2790575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220867)

I've always loved PHP - it gives flexibity and I just love coding using it. But I know many people love Python too. What's more elegant and nicer in Python than PHP?

Re:Python VS PHP (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220875)

I've always like skydrive a lot more than dropbox due to it's more lax restrictions. Nothing to do with the programming language whatsoever.

Re:Python VS PHP (4, Informative)

Atti K. (1169503) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220941)

What do you mean? Skydrive has a 2GB limit on filesize (just found this out the other day, when trying to store a 3 GB encrypted backup there). On Dropbox the only limit is your available storage. (I have 10 GB:) ) Skydrive has no differential sync. Change 1 byte in a 2GB file, it uploads the whole thing again. Dropbox breaks down the files in (I think) 4 MB pieces, uploads only what changed. I'm in no way affiliated with Dropbox, I just think it's more flexible. It's true that Skydrive offers more free storage space though.

Re:Python VS PHP (4, Informative)

pmsr (560617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221005)

Quite right. And don't forget about LAN sync. Dropbox clearly is technically more advanced than Skydrive. The only handicap I see with Dropbox is the lack of some sort of permission system when you share folders. Or at least a read-only setting.

Re:Python VS PHP (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221299)

Dropbox clearly is technically more advanced than Skydrive.

I think I would agree that Dropbox is more technically advanced; however, I would say that Skydrive (for good or ill) is also more ingrained into the Microsoft technology stack. Office 2013, SharePoint 2013, and (I think) Windows 8 have the ability to use it. In Office I think it is the default now which will probably trip a few people when they go to browse for their file and mistakenly saved it on Skydrive instead of their local box.

Re:Python VS PHP (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221619)

SkyDrive, like SharePoint is just another attempt at Microsoft lock-in. Personally I prefer it when people create suites of products that I *want* to use, not that I *have* to use. The Apple ecosystem is the same.

Re:Python VS PHP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221997)

Um, just save your office files in the dropbox folder...

Re:Python VS PHP (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221049)

Well... I'm comfortable with creating archive parts, so I don't really pay attention to file size limits. Maybe lax restrictions wasn't the best description, but usability and integration with windows is great. It's the first desktop "drive" folder that I've used that works and I've been trying with them ever since google came out and somebody wrote a parts app to upload files to the 2gb they gave you back then. I also like the interface a lot more (yaya windows tiles), dropbox looks very business oriented and I could use a little less of that. Another perk is that it's my windows live account, which is one less account for me to remember. P.S. It's not supported on Linux to the best of my knowledge, limiting options, google drive is going to be an interesting one to see.

Re:Python VS PHP (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221921)

dropbox on windows = a magic folder that just works. not much to be business oriented about it.

only problem with it is that it's just not that much free unless you whore ref codes etc. being able to make web links is certainly a plus.

the only complaint I have is that shared folders(with others, like a company group) count against your drive space. that sucks bigtime.

Re:Python VS PHP (4, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221035)

I've always loved PHP - it gives flexibity and I just love coding using it. But I know many people love Python too. What's more elegant and nicer in Python than PHP?

I've always like skydrive a lot more than dropbox due to it's more lax restrictions. Nothing to do with the programming language whatsoever.

I too prefer to skydive rather than program in PHP. Personal preference, I suppose...

Re:Python VS PHP (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221211)

Is that with or without a parachute? Because falling out of an airplane to a grizzy death doesn't sound so bad after you've been programming PHP all day.

Re:Python VS PHP (5, Interesting)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221311)

Is that with or without a parachute? Because falling out of an airplane to a grizzy death doesn't sound so bad after you've been programming PHP all day.

You think PHP is bad? Why in my day we used COM with VB and C++, uphill both ways.

But just try telling that to kids these days. They'll never believe you.

Re:Python VS PHP (4, Informative)

metlin (258108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221687)

One word for all you whiny kids today: MFC.

Jesus H. I'd rather pull out my teeth. With pliers.

Re:Python VS PHP (0)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42222049)

Dunno, after SWIG, those looked kinda nice.

Re:Python VS PHP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221833)

I've likED...ITS...but who the fuck cares any more about the spelling, right?

Not a fractal of bad design (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220925)

What's more elegant and nicer in Python than PHP?

Python isn't a fractal of bad design [veekun.com] .

Re:Not a fractal of bad design (1, Insightful)

Kergan (780543) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221437)

In defense of PHP, Python and Ruby suck in their own ways too -- plain and simple. Maybe not as much, or in the same ways, but they still suck. Try them, and see for yourself; if you haven't seen why yet, it means you're doing it wrong or sticking to writing trivial code where they remain beautiful and all encompassing and what not.

In the case of Python, since it's on topic, try recent versions of Python's hex() function for instance. Assume it works like it does for other languages, and use it to shovel through a Core Dump and see how it works out for you -- it's not a pretty sight [yosefk.com] .

Just use whatever you're most comfortable with, and get your job done. Deliver, get paid, and get a life.

Only two warts (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221617)

In defense of PHP, Python and Ruby suck in their own ways too -- plain and simple. Maybe not as much [... See] "Python: teaching kids and biting bits don't mix" by yosefk

If the hex() change and the division operator are the only "warts" in Python, then it at least has PHP beat. One of the warts that yosefk complains about (int / int = float) is there just as much in PHP, and unlike Python, PHP doesn't even have a floor division operator.

As to the example motivating that article: I deal with binary files in Python, such as tools to manipulate NES programs and data, and the first thing I do 90 percent of the time when loading a binary file is put it in an array.array('B').

Re:Not a fractal of bad design (2)

cgt (1976654) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221633)

In the case of Python, since it's on topic, try recent versions of Python's hex() function for instance. Assume it works like it does for other languages, [...]

Why would you assume that?

Re:Not a fractal of bad design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221851)

I'm sure a Rolls Royce owner would have plenty of nitpicks about the car, but it's not roughly equivalent to a rusty pickup propped up on cinder blocks just because they're both cars and both have issues.

Python is pretty okay. PHP is actively antagonistic.

Re:Not a fractal of bad design (5, Funny)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221949)

In defense of PHP, Python and Ruby suck in their own ways too...

That's like saying "In defense of a knife to the eye, cheesecake and ice cream have their own drawbacks."

I'm glad some one else will say what I've always said, PHP is a three-headed Satan baby. When the seventh seal was broken and the seventh trumpet sounded, PHP leaped out of the womb and ate its mother, the whore of Babylon.

Re:Not a fractal of bad design (2, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | about a year and a half ago | (#42222175)

I'm glad some one else will say what I've always said, PHP is a three-headed Satan baby. When the seventh seal was broken and the seventh trumpet sounded, PHP leaped out of the womb and ate its mother, the whore of Babylon.

Thanks for that awesome metaphor!

Every single time that delightfully deep and correct analysis of PHP's shortcomings is mentioned someone who doesn't know anything about language design chimes in with this ridiculous, "Yes but no language is perfect!" line. As if "every well-designed language consists of an intersection of compromises between incompatible ideals" is in any way an answer to, "PHP is fractal of bad design."

I'm not totally sure why anyone thinks "no language meets some impossible standard I've just made up in my head" is relevant to the obviously true claim that "some languages are better than others, and all languages are MUCH better than PHP."

Re:Not a fractal of bad design (1)

radtea (464814) | about a year and a half ago | (#42222203)

In defense of PHP...

Your "defense" of PHP is that you know nothing about language design, so you can't see what the problem is?

Re:Not a fractal of bad design (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42222191)

Python is full of crappy design decisions, and the crufty library that has tons of deprecated APIs (always replaced by new ones, why not write good ones from the start?) and inconsistent naming. Don't get me started on the half-assed OOP and dynamic/duck typing. Writing anything large or refactoring it is a huge pain, even with an IDE.

I swear, Python was designed to make easy things trivial, and hard things impossible.

Re:Python VS PHP (3, Insightful)

mrvan (973822) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220927)

I'm a big python fan. It encourages elegant and readable code and has a good library and community. The lack of static typing hurts a bit in now having good static checking ("compiler errors") and IDE autocomplete, but it also means that you can scrap tehe 90% of code that java forces you to write to declare and then work around interfaces and abstraction layers :-)

I haven't written PHP the last 10 years, so I can't really compare to state of the art, but I felt that PHP encourages sloppy programming and lack of separation of concerns by sticking a lot of business logic in the presentation layer. But that be more about the language being used by a lot of people without formal programming training than about the language itself.

Re:Python VS PHP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221447)

Python is a scripting language. It isn't meant for static typing because it isn't meant for scale. Python is 100x slower than Java other similar languages (literally, see google search for benchmarks). It is meant for light-weight scripting.

There is a reason that Java forces you to declare and working within the types - that is because they matter.

Re:Python VS PHP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221893)

There is a reason that Java forces you to declare and working within the types - that is because they matter.

Protip: you don't actually need to tell that to someone who's complaining about the lack of static typing in any particular language....

Re:Python VS PHP (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221473)

"...PHP encourages sloppy programming and lack of separation of concerns by sticking a lot of business logic in the presentation layer..."

Dude, I disagree with this statement. Why? Because the choice of where to place business logic lies entirely on the coder. It isn't an attribute you'll find tied to a system just because it employs a particular a language, in this case PHP as you say. The same can be said about Microsoft's Visual Basic as used on its JET DB engine found in MS Access.

Re:Python VS PHP (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42220989)

The fact that the language is predictable and not error-prone out the ass, for one.
PHP is exceptions wrapped in a language.

I moved away from that crap the instant I found out how buggy that crapware is.
A language developed by people who didn't even understand the difference between == and === has lost all hope of being taken seriously.
And the fact that they even ARGUED against it is even more annoying.

I know it gets linked ALL THE TIME in anything relating to languages, but it really needs to be read by every single person ever.
PHP seriously needs to die already. It CANNOT be fixed.
To use the tools in a box example, PHP is like hammering a nail with a sandwich. It is literally pointless and fruitless to even bother, because all you will end up with is pain, anger and annoyance in the end, and maybe literal bleeding hands after you smash either your keyboard, wall or monitor in frustration at how a language can somehow be worse than Visual Basic.
PHP - a fractal of bad design [veekun.com]

Re:Python VS PHP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221285)

> The fact that the language is predictable and not error-prone out the ass, for one.

That's a matter of understanding, not design flaws. If you would kindly put forth what you think "design" should provide, your assertions might seem credible as they could be compared to implementation.

> I know it gets linked ALL THE TIME in anything relating to languages, but it really needs to be read by every single person ever.

Opinions don't matter. There's no evidence that any of the criticisms made are poor design choices when you can't quantify what's important. Saying "this is done better a different way" is not an argument. It's more of the same nonsense that has been posted on the web since the 90's where language usage judgements are stacked onto others' opinions and are presented as facts. Grow up.

> It CANNOT be fixed.

You're using hyperbole again. Making nonsensical statements is typical of anti-php rhetoric. Most telling is the rest of the post which is more rhetoric as you've got nothing to offer but pointing to a blog post that you think is important because you're too weak minded to understand the implications of your own views so you have latched on to someone else who you think is smarter and more eloquent.

Re:Python VS PHP (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221655)

If you would kindly put forth what you think "design" should provide

Consistent naming conventions for functions in the standard library, for one thing. Some way to protect names of functions defined in a program from colliding with names of functions added to newer versions of the language, for another.

Re:Python VS PHP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221701)

That's right, teach the controversy, brother!
There is no evidence that a sane and consistent language design is better for developers.
In fact, some people prefer to get different results on 32 and 64-bits architectures, to silently ignore extra arguments to a function, and that the database bindings break depending on locale.
Constantly having to second-guess what syntax the parser will recognize (Will it take foo()[$bar]? Or foo()()? ) is just a bonus. Don't let them come here with their "basic parsing has been a solved problem for over 30 years" opinions.

Re:Python VS PHP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42222115)

Constantly having to second-guess what syntax the parser will recognize (Will it take foo()[$bar]? Or foo()()? ) is just a bonus. Don't let them come here with their "basic parsing has been a solved problem for over 30 years" opinions.

The best part is that they've started to fix that... using a Chinese water torture process of allowing a couple of new constructs with each new 5.x release. Your favourite pet peeve isn't being fixed in the current cycle? No problem, just wait another year, and if you've been a very good girl and you pray to Santa reeeeeaaaaall hard, you might just get that one step closer to where Lisp was in the 19 fucking 50s.

Re:Python VS PHP (3, Informative)

jthill (303417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42222127)

You know, I've gotten used to anti-language screeds being the frustration of the ignorant and lazy compounded with childish exaggerations and intemperance even I boggle at.

But .... wow. Just wow. NULL < -1 && NULL == 0? "0133" == "133" because of implicit string-to-numeric conversions, but 0133 != 133? And the ? : implementation just leaves those examples in the dust.

Re:Python VS PHP (5, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221187)

I've professionally programmed in both Python and PHP. There's no reasonable competition - Python wins hands down.

A few of the advantages of Python over PHP:

  • * The basic library of Python is coherent and well written. PHP's is anything but.
  • * Python's syntax allows you to do the same thing as PHP with far less code. For instance, to filter an array in Python, you can do stuff like this:

    filtered = [x for x in unfiltered where x.foo=="bar"]

    In PHP the same thing looks like:

    $filtered = array_filter($unfiltered, function($x) { return $x->foo == "bar"; });

  • * Python is massively easier to unit test: You can patch anything you possibly want, including system calls, it has fantastic mocking libraries and testing harnesses.
  • * Python supports modularity and has since day one. PHP's closest equivalent, namespacing, was tacked on at the last minute and not used properly.

Web hosting providers slow to offer new PHP (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221523)

$filtered = array_filter($unfiltered, function($x) { return $x->foo == "bar"; });

Which looks a little like how Python would look without list comprehensions:

filtered = filter((lambda x: x.foo == "bar"), unfiltered)

The worse part is that lambdas, such as your function($x) { return $x->foo == "bar"; }, are a fairly recent addition to PHP (5.3 series IIRC). This wouldn't be so bad, seeing as PHP 5.3 is three years old, except that shared web hosts have tended not to make it easy to run multiple PHP versions side by side for different applications or even to migrate a whole site to a newer version of PHP.

Re:Python VS PHP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221199)

Python has been conceived as a general purpose programming language. PHP is web markup templating language. You can still do other programming in it, but it just doesn't suits well.

What does it mean for Google? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42220883)

It means they need to pay more or offer better perks to keep their employees.

Re:What does it mean for Google? (2)

BirdParrot (2790575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220899)

I've also noticed this huge change in companies. It seems like Google is too old and used now.

Re:What does it mean for Google? (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221023)

It means...nothing. Sometimes people get to the end of a project (Dropbox is done - you can store files in it and everything) and decide to do something different of their choice, not something different of their employer's choice. Confusing, huh?

Re:What does it mean for Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221107)

He's moving to Dropbox not away from Dropbox, dumb shit.

Re:What does it mean for Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221271)

Confusing, huh?

Apparently.

Re:What does it mean for Google? (2)

qbel (1792064) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221509)

Or more interesting projects, or a change of scenery, or a different culture, or etc? No one but Guido and probably the people close to him can know exactly why he went to Dropbox from Google. People changes jobs all the time for a variety of reasons. I don't think we can assume it is just because of perks.

Pay Decrease? (1)

kc67 (2789711) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220911)

Can Dropbox really pay more than Google can for Guido?

Re:Pay Decrease? (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220933)

Maybe he's reached the end of his usefulness at Google and they just didn't care if he left. I'm not trying to imply anything, I'm just stating one possible scenario.

Re:Pay Decrease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221167)

Yeah, at a place like Google (or Facebook, etc) you'd think that scripting languages would be a flavor of the week type deal. Maybe Go or something else is picking up traction, and GvR sees the writing on the wall. The money would be a secondary consideration.

Re:Pay Decrease? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221953)

Python use within Google has been on the decline for years now. It's not exactly a secret that they discourage using it for new projects.

Re:Pay Decrease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221345)

Or maybe he wanted to leave a giant public company to go work for a small private company, that might have an IPO in their future.

Re:Pay Decrease? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42220943)

No,

But dropbox is willing to pay more than Google. What Google can afford to do and what they are willing to pay are two different things.

Re:Pay Decrease? (1)

grumpy_old_grandpa (2634187) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220963)

Can they pay more? Probably not. But for Guido it must feel better to work with people who actually appreciates his contribution. AFAIK, with a few exceptions, Google was never big on Python.

Re:Pay Decrease? (0)

BirdParrot (2790575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220983)

Google has almost 40'000 employees now. You underestimate them. Their PR is good tho.

Re:Pay Decrease? (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221031)

Google has almost 40'000 employees now. You underestimate them. Their PR is good tho.

What does their employee count (or PR) have to do with their commitment to Python or appreciation for employees?

A company's employee count or PR firm isn't connected to how good of an employer they are. Otherwise everyone at McDonalds or Walmart would be loving their jobs.

Re:Pay Decrease? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221009)

Money isn't everything to everyone. If you were being paid $500.00 per hour to shovel out a barn, wouldn't you take a job that offered something more fun like programing with python even if it paid $490.00 per hour?

Re:Pay Decrease? (1)

kc67 (2789711) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221065)

Well of course, but my point is that Google is significantly larger than Dropbox in terms of employees and income. I was just curious how much of a cut he would have endured.

Re:Pay Decrease? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221343)

No one can really answer that except for Guido and/or dropbox. I think my favorite job I've ever had paid the least. If I was comfortable enough finacially, I'd go back to it.

Re:Pay Decrease? (5, Insightful)

rk (6314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221641)

Actually, I'd take shoveling out a barn at 500/hr. It would get me exercise and a chance to be alone with my thoughts, which would let me do fun things like programming with python for things I want to program, instead of what someone else wants programmed.

Re:Pay Decrease? (2)

mandolin (7248) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221757)

Money isn't everything to everyone. If you were being paid $500.00 per hour to shovel out a barn, wouldn't you take a job that offered something more fun like programing with python even if it paid $490.00 per hour?

Depends on the job. Which one do I take to wade through the least amount of bullshit?
I'm burnt out enough that I might try the barn for a year just for the variety.

Re:Pay Decrease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42222197)

Maybe he just wanted to do something different. It happens. I've had coworkers who quit and go to work for other companies for no other reason than they were working there a long time and wanted to try something new.

What will he be doing at DropBox? (3, Interesting)

afgam28 (48611) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220979)

And what did he use to do at Google? Did he work on Python only in his spare time or did Google pay him to hack on it?

Re:What will he be doing at DropBox? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221081)

AFAIK he was working on the Python part of Google App Engine, in particular the NDB [google.com] API.

He has also developed Mondrian, a code review tool that was partially open sourced as Rietveld. [google.com]

(Not a Google employee, so just going by public knowledge here)

Big Question? (5, Insightful)

folderol (1965326) | about a year and a half ago | (#42220987)

Why? Maybe he just wanted a change, and wasn't especially concerned about the pay - people do that you know. Sometimes job satisfaction is what does it. Sometimes a fresh set of challenges. Money is severely over-rated as a driver.

Re:Big Question? (5, Insightful)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221171)

Money is severely over-rated as a driver.

Only when you already have it. Which, to be fair, he likely does.

Re:Big Question? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221217)

As is my wife.

Re:Big Question? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221977)

Or perhaps Dropbox is going to IPO soon and he'll get a lot bigger payout then he ever could at Google.

should not matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221041)

GvR is not a dictator. This move should not matter to someone who wants to leave their creation run free.

Please, Take Python Out And Shoot It in the Head (0, Troll)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221075)

Please, God, cannot somebody please take that stupid abomination of a language Python out in back and shoot it in the head until dead. I have never used a less friendly piece of Monkey Pus than the "language" Python.

Perl,Python,And Other Garbage Languages (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221145)

Notice how just when Perl started to take a dirtnap that another equally shitty language immediately arose to replace it in Python?

If we could magically make garbage languages like Python just disappear another equally shitty language would almost certainly immediately arise to replace and start littering software project across the Net.

Re:Please, Take Python Out And Shoot It in the Hea (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221177)

Please, God, cannot somebody please take that stupid abomination of a language Python out in back and shoot it in the head until dead. I have never used a less friendly piece of Monkey Pus than the "language" Python.

A fan og PHP, are you? It shows!

Re:Please, Take Python Out And Shoot It in the Hea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221213)

Be positive. We can let python live.
But more importantly, what should we use instead?

FUD, and more FUD (4, Insightful)

Kergan (780543) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221095)

Best I'm aware, Python was important for Google long before Guido got hired by Google. He was the cherry on the pie, if anything.

As such, it means absolutely nothing for Google, bar that they lost someone who they may have wanted to keep in-house.

Re:FUD, and more FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221153)

I don't buy it. Assuming it is true that dropbox benefits from having the python creator on the team, I imagine google enjoyed the same benefits.

He Was Fired... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221197)

He didn't quit, he was fired.

Google is actively dumping any and all Python from their projects.

Why the hell Google hired the clown in the first place remains a mystery.

Re:He Was Fired... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221259)

I work for Google.

Let me just say that you're full of shit.

First of all, python is just as much in use now as before. Secondly, it will continue to be so.

Secondly - fired? Nope.

LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221381)

Oh look...a Python fanboy pretending to work for Google...

Google has been developing and working on much better languages they are now actively using throughout the company.

Letting junk languages like Python be used in Google internal projects was an artifact of the company growing rapidly and letting developers too much leeway in picking languages. Those days are over.

There are a lot of scary smart and talented people at Google. van Rossum wasn't one of them. Even worse was he was a major douche to work with. No surprise he ended up getting kicked to the curb and couldn't find anything better than Dropbox.

Ripping out the hideous Python in Youtube and starting to upgrading it to use Go was the final straw.

Re:LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221485)

Right.... Because Youtube has really 'upgraded' lately.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42222029)

Basically the only part of Youtube that has any Python is the templating. Everything else on the backend is done with Java and C/C++.

Re:LOL (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221607)

We are all Anonymous Coward right?

Re:He Was Fired... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221503)

Guido wasn't 'here's a box for you crap, you have five minutes before security escorts you out the door" fired. It was closer to 'we don't see a role for you here, quit now and save us both the hassle of having to let you go' type fired.

He has really accomplished nothing since he was hired. And needless to say with Google actively replacing Python in the company with Go, he was acting like a petulant ass.

Re:He Was Fired... (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221595)

Google replacing Python with Go in large parts of the company. Do you have documentation for that? (I am really interested, because that would be an interesting event).

But I don't think Python ever had an important job at Google. I can't even name any of their important projects which are done in Python.

Re:He Was Fired... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221659)

Google replacing Python with Go in large parts of the company. Do you have documentation for that?

I've seen Anonymous Coward postings about this here on Slashdot, but nothing else.

Everything I have ever heard about Python at Google falls into two categories: server management stuff, and YouTube. And what I have heard is that the server management stuff is perpetually locked into an outdated version of Python.

The thing is, Google doesn't spend a lot of time advertising what they are doing internally. They like their secrecy, and there really is no up-side to saying "we are doing less work in Language X and more work in Language Y". All you do is stir up the fanboys.

Since Google Go is a somewhat similar language to Python, except that it has better performance and doesn't rely on white space, it is plausible that Go is gaining acceptance within Google. But I have no inside knowledge.

Re:He Was Fired... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42222231)

Since Google Go is a somewhat similar language to Python

Why do people keep saying that? They're nothing alike!
I can't imagine what kind of language you'd be coming from to get that impression.

Re:He Was Fired... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221665)

The major one is Youtube which was unfortunately littered with Python. That is being actively upgraded to Go.

There isn't anyone hunting down every line of Python in the company, but using Python in any new project is dead. Standing up in a meeting suggesting Python as a solution is right down there with Perl or Mono or Visual Basic.

Re:He Was Fired... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221955)

ALL old google stuff was done in python.
You seem pretty bad informed ...

Google is a strange place to work (4, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#42222063)

Guido wasn't 'here's a box for you crap, you have five minutes before security escorts you out the door" fired. It was closer to 'we don't see a role for you here, quit now and save us both the hassle of having to let you go' type fired.

He has really accomplished nothing since he was hired. And needless to say with Google actively replacing Python in the company with Go, he was acting like a petulant ass.

Google is a strange place to work. It's entirely possible that, by the performance metrics they typically use, it was a mutual parting of the ways; I don't know, and unless you are on the performance review committee for his engineering subgroup, neither do you (and if you are, you should be keeping your mouth shut, instead of posting here, even as an AC). But assuming your theory is correct, don't mistake an organizational inability to effectively utilize his talents with him not having them.

That said, your second paragraph is basically BS. Go never really caught on because it did not have a cross-platform library; the reason was that it insisted on directly trapping its system calls itself, which is great, if you aren't an engineer with a MacBook Pro trying to do work at home, and want the same system call semantics for e.g. "kill" or "sigaction". Hint: at the top of Libc on Mac OS, kill takes 2 parameters; at the user/kernel boundary, it takes 3 so the kernel knows whether it should use traditional Mac OS signal semantics, or use POSIX 1003.1-2001 semantics (same as Linux). Until they drop Mac OS X for Linux (probably still running on Apple hardware), or the Go folks fix their language binding to use LibSystem (Libc) instead of trapping their own system calls, I don't see that changing in favor of Go adoption any time soon.

While Go is an "official language", along with C/C++ there are two others, one of which is Python, and not a lot of work was actually being done in Go. My last major project at Google was exclusively Python, and all of the testing infrastructure for Chrome OS is written in Python. One of the first classes you are offered as part of new employee orientation, apart from "How to use Perforce" is "Python Programming".

Personally, I could see him leaving as being part of the generally publicly announced Larry Page effort to focus Google on working on fewer total projects, and on hiring for specific roles, instead of just hiring everyone who met the right level of smart, and figuring something for them to do afterwards. But frankly, I do not see increased focus fixing what Larry's attempting to fix with it. I suspect this is more likely than your theory.

Either way, I expect his contributions at Dropbox will be valuable to them, and wish him luck there.

it means they all get to upgrade to python 3.xxx (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221101)

and break every script they have

Guido is overrated (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221105)

When I first saw the original Python's closure, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. When I learned about the original Python's garbage collector, I just shook my head. I haven't looked at Python since.

Re:Guido is overrated (1)

sacrilicious (316896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221915)

Well *I'm* convinced... your unsupported gripes say more than real evidence ever could.

Android Java replacement - Python (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221235)

Google was looking for a Java replacement and was considering Python. This is no longer the case.
Icaza's mono is looking more & more likely....

Gut reaction? (4, Informative)

blamelager (1152861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221327)

In my case, was that Google are moving away from Python. Also see the last answer here:-

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2560310/heavy-usage-of-python-at-google [stackoverflow.com]

Perhaps there are some anonymous Googlers out there that are brave enough to comment?

Re:Gut reaction? (1)

blamelager (1152861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221769)

Somebody modded me down for that?

I like python, and use it a fair bit, but the news hardly comes across as an endorsement, does it? To be fair I'm not sure Python is a super-fantastic fit for Google - it may be easy to read, excellent for prototyping, glue, and access to useful (esp. scientific) libraries; but it's not the absolute best language for text processing, web stuff, GUIs or speed.

Go lang (1)

cameronl (117757) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221357)

Are Google's Python projects becoming Go projects?

Re:Go lang (1)

chronokitsune3233 (2170390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221895)

This is exactly what I was wondering. Python is nice, but I'm not sure that Google's Go programming language can't replace it. Python is far more mature, but Go just seems like a better option since it was created by Google in the first place. Additionally, I'll admit that I'm no fanatic of functional programming languages, mainly due to the syntax, but Go's take on it is rather clean in appearance to me, making it relatively easy to pick up and start using it.

just wait for Gython (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221365)

I bet now that he is gone, Google will decide that python isn't good enough for them and that they have some 'awesome additions' they would like to add to the language. Gython!

Google Drive and Linux as a motive? (2)

MidGe (69308) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221493)

There could be more to this story, given the interest from the Linux community.

There is an on-going discussion, or rather expression of frustration with Google, going on in the Google groups regarding Google Drive and the lack of support for Linux See here: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/drive/j_SmC6bMsEo/discussion%5B276-300%5D [google.com]

Could that be the reason behind the departure?

foolish (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221533)

So... file sharing companies like dropbox are getting litigated out of business and shut down by the feds left and right... and yes, I see pirated shit on dropbox accounts all the time... but Google is poised to be one of the most powerful companies and history... that just seems foolish. Of course, he might know something we don't...

End of Google App Engine? (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221679)

I realize it's only speculation, but that's all we get with Google products. One minute it's a product, the next it's EOL. Or perhaps App Engine stays but the Python support gets phased out in favor of Java. Google products do sometimes lose features over time - the thread on why Google Docs took away table cell merging is a funny read if you get software freedom.

Re:End of Google App Engine? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42221823)

Where can one find this thread?

Re:End of Google App Engine? (2)

styrotech (136124) | about a year and a half ago | (#42222105)

I realize it's only speculation, but that's all we get with Google products. One minute it's a product, the next it's EOL. Or perhaps App Engine stays but the Python support gets phased out in favor of Java.

AppEngine originally seemed like Java was the first class language and Python was the second class one, then that switched around with Python getting more love and the Java support stagnating. Now they both seem neglected in favour of Go. It wouldn't surprise me if AppEngine becomes Go only at some stage.

Combined with Dart to replace Javascript, it really seemd Google is developing a major case of 'not invented here' and determined to be less and less open. Google Code is now a wasteland making Sourceforge look vibrant.

'Open' is just a stepping stone to dominance for Google, and can be dropped once something gets a little success.

What does it mean? (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42221815)

For the language, not much, as no matter where Guido ends up python is still his baby. And even if he got hit by a bus or something the language will continue on without him.

What does it mean to Guido? Well only he can answer that but i would imagine he was ready for a change in scenery. I dont think he is in it for the money anymore and doesn't have to work unless he wants to.

What does it mean to Google, not much there either, they used it before he got there, and im sure will use it after hes gone.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42222001)

Dropbox, your unencrypted and finite place to store data when you're not near your cell phone that has 16 gigs of flash drive.

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