[Python-Dev] Let's just *keep* lambda

Steven Bethard steven.bethard at gmail.com
Mon Feb 6 05:44:15 CET 2006

Guido van Rossum wrote:
> After so many attempts to come up with an alternative for lambda,
> perhaps we should admit defeat. I've not had the time to follow the
> most recent rounds, but I propose that we keep lambda, so as to stop
> wasting everybody's talent and time on an impossible quest.

Personally, I'd rather see a callable-from-expression syntax (the
``lambda`` expression) that looks more like our
callable-from-statements syntax (the ``def`` statement), e.g. Nick
Coghlan's def-from syntax::

    (def f(a) + o(b) - o(c) from (a, b, c))

Something like this is more consistent with how list creation is
turned into list comprehensions, how generator functions are turned
into generator expressions and how if/else statements are turned into
conditional expressions.

That said, I firmly believe that syntax decisions *must* be left to
the BDFL.  The decorator syntax and with-statement syntax debates
clearly showed this.  So if after looking at all the syntax
alternatives_, you feel that the current lambda syntax is the best we
can do, I'm willing to accept that decision.

.. _alternatives: http://wiki.python.org/moin/AlternateLambdaSyntax

Grammar am for people who can't think for myself.
        --- Bucky Katt, Get Fuzzy

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