On 30 May 2007, at 17:30, Terry Reedy wrote:

"Arnaud Delobelle"

wrote in message news:8C1BDF74-1DAB-4F64-A28E-16788C48AA95@marooned.org.uk... | Hi | | List comprehensions (and generator expressions) come in two | 'flavours' at the moment: Actually, you can have 1 to many for clauses and 0 to many if clauses.

That's true. I use that very seldom in fact. [...]

| | Now if one wants to write simply filter(p, L) as a list | comprehension, one has to write: | | (3) [x for x in L if p(x)]. This could be called a 'filter | comprehension'. [...] | Why not just drop the 'x for' at the start of a 'filter | comprehension' (or generator expression)?

Because such micro abbreviations are against the spirit of Python, which is designed for readability over writablilty. Even for a writer, it might take as much time to mentally deal with the exception and to simply type 'for x', which takes all of a second.

I wasn't suggesting this to save myself from typing 5 characters. You'll find it strange but I actually find [x in L if p(x)] more readable than [x for x in L if p(x)]. To me it says that I'm filtering, not mapping.

Also, this breaks the mapping between for/if statements and clauses and makes the code ambiguous for both humans and the parser

By ambiguous do you mean 'difficult to parse'? I didn't think it was ambiguous in the technical sense.

| Thus (3) could be written more simply as: | | (3') [x in L if p(x)]

(x in L) is a legal expression already. (x in L) if p(x) looks like the beginning of (x in L) if p(x) else 'blah' . The whole thing looks like a list literal with an incompletely specified one element.

I'm not sure I understand. I agree that x if (y in L if p(y)) else z doesn't look great. Neither does x if (y for y in L if p(y)) else z Well, the 'for' in the second one is a bit of a hint, I suppose. I wouldn't write either anyway. Most of the time when I write a list comprehension / generator expression it is to bind it to a name.

| This is consistent with common mathematical notation:

'Common mathematical notation' is not codified and varies from writer to writer and even within the work of one writer. Humans make do and make guesses, but parser programs are less flexible.

Yet all modern mathematicians will understand the three forms without any hesitation and 'making guesses' (consciously at least).

| * { f(x) | x \in L } means the set of all f(x) for x in L | * { f(x) | x \in L, p(x) } means the set of all f(x) for x in L | satisfying predicate p. | * { x \in L | p(x) } means the set of all x in L satisfying predicate p.

I personally do not like the inconsistency of the last form, which flips '\in L' over the bar just because f(x) is the identify function.

In fact the last form is 'the consistent one', as the first two should really be written as: * { y \in M | \exists x \in L, y=f(x) } * { y \in M | \exists x \in L, p(x) and y=f(x) } (M being the codomain of f) ;oP Anyway, while I still like the idea, you've made me think about it as some sort of 'useless tinkering', which is probably is. -- Arnaud