[Python-ideas] Making colons optional?

Curt Hagenlocher curt at hagenlocher.org
Fri Feb 6 16:37:49 CET 2009

On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 7:14 AM, Riobard Zhan <yaogzhan at gmail.com> wrote:
>> But making colons
>> optional would mean that you're now looking at two different kinds of
>> code -- with colons and without.  And it's extremely hard for me to
>> imagine that having two different kinds of code would not harm
>> readability.
> Not when we dump colons like semicolons. We don't see two different kinds of
> code, one with semicolons and the other without.

If you're suggesting that -- for consistency -- it shouldn't be legal
to have an empty statement after a semicolon, I might be tempted to
agree.  I've never seen anyone use a semicolon where it's optional.

In any event, as several people have suggested, there's basically zero
likelihood of Python ever being changed to make colons optional.  And
there doesn't even have to be a rational basis for that.  If it were
1994 and Python were still young, we could discuss the relative merits
of required/optional/disallowed. But at this point, you're basically
trying to convince people that their many years of experience with
reading Python code should be thrown away in order to accommodate a
small number of new users who sometimes forget a trivial piece of

Curt Hagenlocher
curt at hagenlocher.org

More information about the Python-ideas mailing list