[Python-Dev] syntactic support for sets

Donovan Baarda abo at minkirri.apana.org.au
Mon Feb 6 15:42:31 CET 2006

On Mon, 2006-02-06 at 15:36 +0100, Ronald Oussoren wrote:
>  On Monday, February 06, 2006, at 03:12PM, Donovan Baarda <abo at minkirri.apana.org.au> wrote:
> >On Fri, 2006-02-03 at 20:02 +0100, "Martin v. Löwis" wrote:
> >> Donovan Baarda wrote:
> >> > Before set() the standard way to do them was to use dicts with None
> >> > Values... to me the "{1,2,3}" syntax would have been a logical extension
> >> > of the "a set is a dict with no values, only keys" mindset. I don't know
> >> > why it wasn't done this way in the first place, though I missed the
> >> > arguments where it was rejected.
> >> 
> >> There might be many reasons; one obvious reason is that you can't spell
> >> the empty set that way.
> >
> >Hmm... how about "{,}", which is the same trick tuples use for the empty
> >tuple?
> Isn't () the empty tuple? I guess you're confusing this with a single element tuple: (1,) instead of (1) (well actually it is "1,")

Yeah, sorry.. nasty brainfart...

> BTW. I don't like your proposal for spelling the empty set as {,} because that is entirely non-obvious. If {1,2,3} where a valid way to spell a set literal, I'd expect {} for the empty set.

yeah... the problem is differentiating the empty set from an empty dict.
The only alternative that occured to me was the not-so-nice and
not-backwards-compatible "{:}" for an empty dict and "{}" for an empty

Donovan Baarda <abo at minkirri.apana.org.au>

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