Chris Rebert wrote:
Jim Jewett wrote:
On 1/28/07, Chris Rebert email@example.com wrote:
def foo(bar=new baz): #code
This would be less bad.
That said, I fear many new programmers would fail to understand when they needed new and when they didn't, so that in practice, it would be just optional random noise.
This is part of the reason I'm trying to avoid adding new syntax. However, I assert that at least 'new' is clearer than the' x=None; if x
But if you are concerned with the current None, there could be some other, new False value serving the same need, like:
def foo(x, y, z, bar=Missing, qux=Missing): if baz is Missing: baz =  #code
def foo(x, y, z, bar=, qux=): if baz is Missing: baz =  #code
at least, it doesn't require decorators, is backward compatible (hopefully no grammar conflicts in there), reads as English.
is None: x=expr' idiom in that it expresses one's intent more clearly. Also, this would at least be a prettier way to spell the idiom even if the reason still needed explaining. Alternatively, we could make the new semantics the default and have syntax to use the old semantics via 'once' or some other keyword. This does nicely emphasize that such semantics would be purely for optimization reasons. I think I'll add this to the PEP.
Demonstrative examples of new semantics: #default argument expressions can refer to #variables in the enclosing scope... CONST = "hi" def foo(a=CONST): print a
This would work if there were any easy way to create a new scope. In Lisp, it makes sense. In python, it would probably be better to just find a way for functions to refer to their own decorations reliably.
This is outside of the scope of my PEP. However, the below improvement should help and you could always use one of the other refactorings to work around this issue.
This change in semantics breaks all code which uses mutable default
argument values. Such code can be refactored from:
def foo(bar=mutable): #code
[a decorator option uses 3 levels of nested functions, which aren't even generic enough for reuse, unless you give up introspection.]
No. It could be done with a (more complex) decorator, if that decorator came with the stdlib (probably in functools)
Agreed, the decorator could be better. I've just enhanced it using functools.wraps, which should help with the introspection issues you raise. Other improvements to the refactoring code in the PEP are welcomed.
- Chris Rebert