[Python-ideas] PEP: Shorthand Symbol for "self"

Cesare Di Mauro cesare.dimauro at a-tono.com
Wed Aug 27 09:11:04 CEST 2008

On 27 aug 2008 at 02:02:39, Russ Paielli <russ.paielli at gmail.com> wrote:

> My editor, Xemacs, also highlights the word "self." I personally find that a
> bit annoying, and perhaps that is part of the reason I don't appreciate the
> word. When I write an algorithm, I don't want to see some artifact
> highlighted, as if it is somehow the most important part of the algorithm. I
> like seeing keywords highlighted, but I don't want to see "self" highlighted
> because it is only a convention. Maybe I'm alone on that.
> As I wrote earlier, I copied one of my larger Python files and replaced each
> occurrence of "self" with "S". That was approximately 350 occurrences. I
> also replaced each occurrence of "cls" with "C", which was another 50 or so
> occurrences. The file size was reduced by 2.8%, many wrapped lines no longer
> need to wrap, and I like the way it looks.
> I understand that people like to have "one true way," but I think Python
> programmers are adaptable enough to handle this one. When you read code, you
> certainly need to read the argument names anyway, so the fact that "S" is
> being used instead of "self" should be obvious. The only minor disadvantage
> I can think of is that searching on a single character can be problematic,
> but if you are using an IDE, that should not be an issue (and I can't
> remember ever searching on "self" anyway).
> One of these days, when I get a chance, I may write an informational PEP
> recommending the use of "S" as an acceptable replacement for "self", and "C"
> as an accptable replacement for "cls". I hope that doesn't blow any fuses.
> Have a nice day.
> --Russ

I absolutely disagree. It's the same thing that happens when we use one
character identifiers: the code becomes less readable.

Identifiers must be self-explicative.


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