Zen of Python

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The Zen of Python is a collection of 20 software principles that influences the design of Python Programming Language,[1]—only 19 of which were written down—around June 1999 by Tim Peters.[2][3] The principal text is released into public domain.[4]

Zen of Python is written as an informational entry number 20 in Python Enhancement Proposals (PEP), and can be found on the official Python website. It is also included as an easter egg in the Python interpreter, which can be displayed by entering import this.[1]


Principles are listed as follows:

Beautiful is better than ugly.
Explicit is better than implicit.
Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated.
Flat is better than nested.
Sparse is better than dense.
Readability counts.
Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules.
Although practicality beats purity.
Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.
In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.
There should be one—and preferably only one—obvious way to do it.
Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch.
Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than right now.[n 1]
If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea.
If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
Namespaces are one honking great idea—let's do more of those!

  1. ^ In the interpreter easter egg, this is written as "Although never is often better than *right* now." This follows a longstanding convention of plain-text communication—in which common formatting features are often impossible—where emphasis is represented with asterisks.


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