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Episode 47: Unraveling Python's Syntax to Its Core With Brett Cannon

The Real Python Podcast

Feb 12, 2021 1h 32m

Do you feel like you understand how Python works under the hood? What is syntactic sugar, and how much of it should be in Python? This week on the show, we have Brett Cannon. Brett is a Python core developer and he’s been working on a series of articles where he is unraveling the syntax of Python. His series is a fantastic resource for those wanting to learn how Python is structured and works at its core.

Episode Sponsor:

Brett wants to see a version of Python that can run in web browsers, so he started to breakdown Python into its syntactic elements to try to answer the question, what are core elements of Python? His detailed series takes the reader along for the ride.

Brett also works at Microsoft as the dev manager for the Python extension for VS Code. Brett is also serving his third term on the Python steering council, and we discuss recent Python enhancement proposals (PEP) that the council is considering.


  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:01:43 – Working on the Python extension for VSCode
  • 00:04:17 – Microsoft and the Python community
  • 00:07:19 – How long have worked on core Python?
  • 00:11:49 – Ways to contribute to core Python
  • 00:14:19 – Upcoming features and PEPs
  • 00:15:41 – Pattern matching PEPs
  • 00:17:48 – Sponsor: Digital Ocean
  • 00:18:29 – Being a member of the Python Steering Council
  • 00:21:10 – Unravelling Python’s syntatic sugar series
  • 00:24:39 – Magic methods, dunder methods, or special methods
  • 00:27:07 – Are there ways that syntatic sugar can be overused?
  • 00:33:31 – WebAssembly and Python being available in the browser
  • 00:45:51 – Does Circuit Python or MicroPython show a path?
  • 00:52:37 – Video Course Spotlight
  • 00:53:41 – Taking Python syntax down to the implementation layer
  • 01:03:21 – Taking apart Python’s syntax
  • 01:16:07 – What other parts of Python syntax will you be unravelling?
  • 01:24:04 – What are you excited about in the world of Python?
  • 01:26:46 – What do you want to learn next?
  • 01:31:24 – Thanks and goodbye

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