[Python-ideas] Making colons optional?

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Thu Feb 5 22:40:27 CET 2009

Riobard Zhan <yaogzhan at gmail.com> writes:

> On 5-Feb-09, at 7:31 AM, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> > I'm sorry you dislike colons, but I like them.
> Yes I agree with you that many people like colons. What bothers me is
> that some people dislike them, but not given the choice to avoid them.

That argument doesn't address the point of the existing syntax. I (and
presumably Steven) like the colons in code *when I have to read it*.

If they are optional, and some significant proportion of coders stop
using them to introduce a suite, then they entirely lose their strong
association with “here comes a suite” that is the main benefit of
having them as complulsory syntax.

> We don't like semicolons in Python, but what would stop a hard-core
> C users to end every statement with a semicolon? They have the
> choice.

Laziness (the good kind). Once someone discovers that they *don't have
to* add the semicolons, and it doesn't affect the operation of their
program, those semicolons will, I predict, become much less frequent.

 \         “Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?” “I think so, |
  `\   Brain, but Tuesday Weld isn't a complete sentence.” —_Pinky and |
_o__)                                                       The Brain_ |
Ben Finney

More information about the Python-ideas mailing list