[docs] [issue10545] remove or rewrite "Using Backslash to Continue Statements" anti-idiom
rurpy the second
report at bugs.python.org
Fri Nov 26 21:50:32 CET 2010
New submission from rurpy the second <rurpy at yahoo.com>:
The Python HOWTOs->Idioms and Anti-Idioms has a section
"Using Backslash to Continue Statements".
It says that line continuation is "dangerous" and gives two reasons.
1. Hard to see a space after the backslash.
This is not "dangerous" as it cause an impossible-to-miss syntax
error (as pointed out in the following sentence.)
2. It can cause other "subtle" errors.
It gives a code example purporting to demonstrate this but without
saying what the input data to the code is or what the resulting
problem is. I spent a while trying to figure it out unsuccessfully.
a number of c.l.p regulars did not figure it out either.
I also note related bug http://bugs.python.org/issue7391 that points
out that avoinding backslashed continuations with parens is not
So I suggest...
1. If the the given example actually illustrates a real problem,
document clearly what it is. This is a reference manual, not a
2. If not, then remove that argument. Now the only reason for
not using backslashes is that a hard-to-see space after the
backslash will cause a syntax error. That is neither dangerous
or a strong reason not to do it. An unstated reason is that
PEP-8 recommends against it but its recommendation is not absolute
and is based only on aethtetics. With no real arguments against
using it other than style, it should not be documented as an anti-idiom, recommendations against it should remain only in
PEP-8 with other such style guidelines, and this section should
be removed from the Anti-Idioms chapter.
assignee: docs at python
nosy: docs at python, rurpy2
title: remove or rewrite "Using Backslash to Continue Statements" anti-idiom
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