Mark E. Haase writes:
In terms of "bunch of longer examples", what did you have in mind? I could take some popular library and rewrite a section of it with the proposed operators, but that would depend on the response to the previous paragraph.
I gather you think you have a deadlock here. The way to break it is to just do it. Pick a syntax and do the rewriting. My memory of some past instances is that many of the senior devs (especially Guido) will "see through the syntax" to evaluate the benefits of the proposal, even if they've said they don't particularly like the initially- proposed syntax. Unfortunately here the most plausible syntax is one that Guido has said he definitely doesn't like: using '?'. The alternatives are pretty horrible (a Haskell-like 'maybe' keyword, or the OPEN SQUARE character used by some logicians in modal logic -- the problem with the latter is that for many people it may not display at all with their font configurations, or it may turn into mojibake in email.
OTOH, that case was an astral character -- after Guido announced his opposition to '?', the poster used PILE OF POO as the operator. OPEN SQUARE is in the basic multilingual plane, so probably is OK if the recipient can handle Unicode. '?' vs. '□': maybe that helps narrow the choice set?