Tonight I went to the well-attended repeat of Guido's Pycon 2005 talk "The State of the Python Union". He started off by explaining his "beta [crunch] beard" and how he was now addressed as professor due to it. Then he quickly discussed the syntax of generators and how he copied the Java sytax.

He seemed happy that Infoworld is reporting that 14% of users in its survey used Python and that Python recieved the Jolt Productivity runner-up award (since the last time the recieved it was 2000, he noted that it should be a 5 year cycle ;)). As another sign of Python's maturity he discussed the first python vulnerability alert and the creation of a vulnerability mailing list.

He then spent a while discussing the future of the language, stating that Py3k was "a few years out" still (same status it had in 2000). On the next versions of Python, Guido would be focusing on the language syntax and libraries, though he stated that quickly moving 3rd party libraries (GUI and web toolkits) will remain out of the standard library since their release schedules conflict with the stable 1.5 year python cycles. Regarding language design he noted that for him a language being "more expressive was better than speed" noting his current suggestion that functional constructs be replaced by list comprehensions. He also stated that this was "doing the reader a favor".

The remaining time was spent discussing optional type checking (which he called "idiot checking") and interfaces (which big projects such as Zope and Twisted are already implementing in python). There was a bit of discussion and Guido seemed as uncertain as the audience regarding what to do here.

Guido is a humerous person and it's comforting to know that someone who is looking out for the reader of code is keeping the python language in check. It will be interested to see what happens static typing and interfaces.