[Python-Dev] Replacement for print in Python 3.0

François Pinard pinard at iro.umontreal.ca
Sun Sep 4 21:22:23 CEST 2005

[Guido van Rossum]

> [...] print is the only application-level functionality that has a
> statement dedicated to it.  Within Python's world, syntax is generally
> used as a last resort, when something *can't* be done without help
> from the compiler.  Print doesn't qualify for such an exception (quite
> the opposite actually).

As I much liked Pascal in its time, `write()' and `writeln()' are
nothing awkward to me, yet in Pascal, neither was a "regular" function,
and the Pascal compiler had special code for parsing these two.  Python
functions are designed in such a way that `write()' and `writeln()' in
Python could be just functions, with no special compiler stunt, and
consequently, they fit even better for Python than they did for Pascal.

Let's consider that `print' (or whatever) is a Python function, not
negotiable.  It should likely be.  If people resent the parentheses
that a new `print' would impose, then it might mean they would like
that there is to be some way so Python functions could be be callable
without parentheses in a more general way.  It would represent quite a
change in the syntax, and pull with it its own flurry of problems; but
nevertheless, a seek for such a change might be presented as the only
way for introducing `print' in Python 3K without a need for parentheses.

Perl, going from version 4 to version 5, was subject to a cleanup
between operators and functions which could be seen as similarly
encompassing.  Logo and a few others also have parentheses-less function
calls, yet they may be week at handling functions as first-class
objects.  (And besides, I'm far from overly liking them! :-).

François Pinard   http://pinard.progiciels-bpi.ca

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