I’ve never been an especially big fan of Python—faster but less powerful than Ruby, slower and less powerful than Smalltalk and Common Lisp, and not as usefully grungy as Perl—but I’ve become a rather strong pragmatist vis-à-vis programming languages, and realize that Python probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so I’ve been trying to improve my proficiency through activities such as Django Dash (which Tyler and I won) and small coding projects, such as the one-off tasks I have to do at work. It’s a technique that’s served me very well in the past to learn new languages and frameworks.

One of the reasons I’m not a particularly big fan of Python is the pervasive use of underscore methods—methods named __like_this__—to accomplish things that Python’s bondage-friendly design wouldn’t otherwise let you do (e.g., operator overloading, destructors, and functors). To that end, I was happy to discover a concise list of Python’s underscore methods and what they do. If you want a quick overview of what can be accomplished through underscore magic, that page should serve you very well.