Jeremy Banks wrote:
To someone who's a novice to this, could someone explain to me why it has to be an existing keyword at all? Since not identifiers are valid in that context anyway, why couldn't it be a new keyword that can still be used as an identifier in valid contexts? For example (not that I advocate this choice of keyword at all):
def foo(bar reinitialize_default ): # <-- it's a keyword here reinitialize_default = "It's an identifier here!"
That would be a syntax error now and if it were defined as a keyword only in that context it wouldn't introduce backwards compatibility problems and wouldn't force us to reuse an existing keyword in a context that may be a bit of a stretch.
Is there a reason that this wouldn't be a viable approach?
At one time, 'as' was only a keyword in the context of import. So it is 'viable'. But it was a bit confusing for programmers and messy implementation-wise and I think the developers were glad to promote 'as' to a full keyword and would be reluctant to go down that road again.