[Python-ideas] Making colons optional?

Riobard Zhan yaogzhan at gmail.com
Sun Feb 8 07:47:09 CET 2009

On 6-Feb-09, at 5:57 PM, Ben Finney wrote:

> Riobard Zhan <yaogzhan at gmail.com> writes:
>> Why do you want a strong association with "here comes a suite" coming
>> from colons?
> I want that indication from *something*, because indentation isn't
> sufficient. A colon ‘:’ is a good choice because its semantic meaning
> has a good analogue to the same character in natural language.
>> Why don't you want a strong association with "here comes a
>> statement" coming from semicolons?
> Because “start of a new line at the same indentation level” is
> sufficient for that. (Not to mention that the very idea of “here
> comes a statement” is rather foreign; I have so little need for
> something extra to do that job that I barely recognise it as a job
> that needs doing.)

Sorry, I did not make it clear. Please let me put it straight: I think  
it is unnecessary to have an extra indication of "here comes a suite".  
The purpose is to introduce a relationship of association, and one  
deeper level of indentation does the job perfectly. We even indent  
line continuation to reflect such relationships as well. Thus it  
should not be insufficient for indentation to give you such strong  

>> Can you explain the inconsistency?
> Entirely different requirements.

Different requirements do not imply different rules. The point of  
consistency is that even if we have completely different requirements,  
we can still have one rule (or similar rules), so that complexity is  
minimized and simplicity is gained.

> If that's not enough for you, I think the gulf of understanding is too
> wide for my level of interest in exploring the reasons.

You are not forced to explain everything. But I think it would be  
polite to defend your argument with some detail in a debate. 

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