[Python-ideas] Making stars optional? (was: Making colons optional?)
bruce at leapyear.org
Thu Feb 5 21:47:59 CET 2009
I apologize for leaving the :-) out in my original post.
Just to be clear: (1) I indeed have seen this mistake from beginning
programmers and (2) I think they should get over it.
I also don't think that = and == should be the same syntax and trust the
compiler to figure out which one you mean.
I also don't think spaces should be optional, despite the fact that no space
probe has ever been lost as a result of that feature. :-(
On Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 11:04 AM, Curt Hagenlocher <curt at hagenlocher.org>wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 10:30 AM, Bruce Leban <bruce at leapyear.org> wrote:
> > In algebra, you don't have to put a multiplication sign in between two
> > quantities that you want to multiply. I've seen beginning programmers
> > things like
> > x = 3a + 4(b-c)
> > instead of
> > x = 3*a + 4*(b-c)
> > Why should we require the stars when it's unambiguous what the first
> > statement means?
> Sure, and given the following program:
> a = 2
> b = 4
> print ab
> shouldn't we be able to print "8", given that the meaning of the
> program is unambiguous?
That would be so cool! If any variable is undefined, break it up into
smaller variables and if they're numbers multiply them and if they're
strings concatenate them. Wow!
> Ultimately, you have to balance ease-of-use against consistency --
> both because too much inconsistency can actually harm ease-of-use and
> because "special cases" tend to combine in crazy ways to create
> horrible edge cases. Where to draw the line is always a matter of
> personal taste, but the Python language has consistently favored
> consistency in its philosophy.
> Curt Hagenlocher
> curt at hagenlocher.org
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