Carl Sagan wrote in Cosmos that we are all made of “star-stuff”. The elements that make life on earth possible were formed in stars a long time ago. It puts things into perspective to remember that we still have no clue how the first life on earth came to be and why we run around on this rock hurtling through space, but at least we know that we are all made from stars :). You ask yourself what this has to do with Python? Right. Nothing. But obvioulsy the humans involved in the development of Python are also made of star-stuff and I like to believe that their deep sense of wonder about the miracle of life has inspired them to put so darn many stars into its syntax.
When I was hyping myself up to write the second article on my website after almost 3 years I naturally had a look how I can busy myself with everything else but writing the actual article (while still fooling myself into believing this is a necessary preparation for … just writing the blimmin’ article. But I think the work in my website generation laboratory was worth the fuzz this time, as I quite enjoy the new workflow. I now can write code sprinkled articles in a Jupyter notebook and have them rendered automatically into my lektor generated website using a bit of Python code hooked into lektors plugin system.
In the summer of 2016 I took part in the first dedicated pytest development sprint together with about 25 humans from all over the planet. We had a great time together with engaging discussions, technical talks, and lots of hacking.
The history of the underscore goes back to mechanical typewriters as a way to combine them with text in order to … surprise … underscore text. I don’t know whether it was due to inertia, backwards compatibility considerations, or the missing insight that underscoring text might work differently on computers, but whatever it was: the underscore made it into the original US-ASCII character encoding standard in the 1960s and is here to stay. In Python it has also found many creative uses providing contextual information about a name.