[Python-Dev] Replacement for print in Python 3.0

Gareth McCaughan gmccaughan at synaptics-uk.com
Fri Sep 2 13:14:11 CEST 2005

> We scientists still use these for debugging. We never 'move on' very far 
> from the tutorial. The salient feature about print statements is that 
> they live to be put in and commented out 10 minutes later, without some 
> import being required or other enabling object being around.
> Easy things should be easy. Hard things should be possible. I don't 
> believe the person who said the trailing comma case mixed up anybody, 
> not for more than 10 seconds anyway.

Damn right. No, I mean: damn "write" :-).

I've used Python for teaching beginner programmers, for quick-hack
scripts, for interactive diddling about, for scientific computation,
for algorithmic experimentation, for GUI applications. I'd appreciably
miss "print" for *all* of these, even the last. (My GUI applications
sometimes have bugs. How about yours?)

So far as I can see, two arguments against "print" have been proposed.

1. It has some ugly features, like the trailing-comma hack.

2. It's a statement that does something "ordinary" and could
   be replaced by a function.

Against which, we have

3. It's convenient for debugging, interactive use, simple scripts,
   and various other things.

4. It's beginner-friendly.

Now, I'm sure I remember hearing something that was relevant
to this. "Pragmatism beats purification"? No, that's not quite
it. "Practice beats perfection?" No. Ah yes, I remember:
"Practicality beats purity". But, of course, that wasn't
talking about Python 3000. :-)


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