Scala First Look - Leaky Abstractions

I just received a copy of Programming in Scala and am working my way through it (slowly). There were a few things that struck me as odd to start with, but the authors explain that they are a result of everything being extensible (in the sense that standard operators are just predefined methods). Then, I came to non-scalar datatypes.

val array = Array("zero", "one", "two")

val list = List("zero", "one", "two")

val tuple = ("zero", "one", "two")

Wait, what?

Apparently someone else had the same reaction as me, as the section about tuples ends with an explanatory infobox:

You may be wondering why you can’t access the elements of a tuple like the elements of a list, for example, with “pair(0)”. The reason is that a list’s apply method always returns the same type, but each element of a tuple may be a different type: _1 can have one result type, _2 another, and so on. These _N numbers are one-based, instead of zero-based, because starting with 1 is a tradition set by other languages with statically typed tuples, such as Haskell and ML.

Truth be told, I didn’t even notice the 1-based indexing until I read this, since I was so distracted by the incredible break in syntax conventions, and I really dislike 1-based indexes.

This is one of the worst leaky abstractions I’ve seen in a while. The underlying system doesn’t allow the expected behavior, so I as a Scala programmer am thrown off and confused by this seemingly unexplainable change. This is exactly the kind of thing that Matz is referring to when he states that Ruby follows the Principle of Least Astonishment.