Warren DeLano wrote:
There, I assert that 'object.as(class_reference)' is the simplest and most elegant generalization of this widely-used convention. Indeed, it is the only obvious concise answer, if you are limited to using methods for casting.
How about "to"? Almost every language I have ever used uses "to" and not "as". Python predominately uses "to" already, so why would you fight that? And moreover, I have never seen a language or library that preferred "as", so I remain to be convinced that "as" is a good choice.
As someone somewhat knowledgable of how parsers work, I do not understand why a method/attribute name "object_name.as(...)" must necessarily conflict with a standalone keyword " as ". It seems to me that it should be possible to unambiguously separate the two without ambiguity or undue complication of the parser.
It's not a matter of whether it is possible. It's a matter of simplicity and a lack of a worthy use-case for allowing it. In general, the trend has been to not allow any keywords as identifiers in the Python language. If there were such a worthy use-case, then what is really import is that it increases the complexity of /the language/ a human programmer needs to parse.
So, assuming I now wish to propose a corrective PEP to remedy this situation for Python 3.1 and beyond, what is the best way to get started on such a proposal?
I think you will need to work on making a convincing argument as to why the keyword "as" is anymore special than say "for", or any other keywords for that matter. Unless you plan on proposing a reversal of the current keyword/identifier ideology, which is likely to be reject outright.