[Python-Dev] What if we didn't have repr?

Łukasz Langa lukasz at langa.pl
Tue May 21 15:16:40 CEST 2013

On 20 maj 2013, at 03:46, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:

> On Sun, May 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM, Gregory P. Smith <greg at krypto.org> wrote:
>> Now you've got me wondering what Python would be like if repr, `` and
>> __repr__ never existed as language features. Upon first thoughts, I actually
>> don't see much downside (no, i'm not advocating making that change).
>> Something to ponder.
> I have pondered it many times, although usually in the form "Why do we
> need both str and repr?"

What if we did the opposite?

1. Make __str__() a protocol for arbitrary string conversion.
2. Move the current __repr__() contracts, both firm and informal to a new, extensible version of pprint.

There has been some discussion led by Raymond in 2010 about a general `pprint rewrite`__ and I'm willing to pick up the idea with a PEP for inclusion in 3.4.

__ http://bugs.python.org/issue7434

Best regards,
Łukasz Langa

WWW: http://lukasz.langa.pl/
Twitter: @llanga
IRC: ambv on #python-dev

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