[Python-Dev] Numeric alignment issue with PEP 3101

Eric Smith eric at trueblade.com
Mon Sep 7 23:46:42 CEST 2009

The default string formatting alignment for all types, according to PEP 
3101, is left aligned. Issue 6857 (http://bugs.python.org/issue6857) 
points out that for numeric types (int, float, and decimal, at least), 
the actual implemented default alignment is right aligned.

Mark Dickinson and I agree that for numeric types, right alignment makes 
much more sense as a default. And that's what %-formatting and 
str.format() both do.

I think the PEP should be modified to say that right alignment is the 
default for numeric types. Also the documentation at 
http://docs.python.org/library/string.html#formatstrings should have the 
same modification.

Does anyone disagree?


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