I was reading through the Wordpress source code, trying to figure out a problem for a contractor, when I saw the function compact().  When I saw it I boggled, read the description, and shook my head.

Compact() takes a list of variable names as strings, and returns a hash of those variable names and their values.   So if you have something like:

$title = "My blog";
$link = "foo";
$h = compact('title', 'link');

You get back a hash of array('title' => 'My blog', 'link' => 'foo').

That, to my thinking, is completely messed up.  You're giving this function, which has its own scope, explicit permission to twiddle with variables in the current scope and create a new variable.  It's one of those things that convinces me that PHP is an unholy mess of silliness.

And then my brain reminded me that, hey, you can do the exact same thing in python.  So, I have:

import inspect
def compact(*args):
    return dict([(i, inspect.currentframe().f_back.f_locals.get(i, None)) 
                 for i in args])

def foo():
    a = "blargh"
    b = "bleah"
    c = ['1', '2', '3']
    return compact('a', 'b', 'c')

print foo()

And sure enough, this spits out: {'a': 'blargh', 'c': ['1', '2', '3'], 'b': 'bleah'}

I hang my head in shame for giving Django developers one more thing around which they can develop bad habits.