[Python-ideas] Making colons optional?

Riobard Zhan yaogzhan at gmail.com
Mon Feb 9 03:35:59 CET 2009

On 8-Feb-09, at 4:41 AM, Steven D'Aprano wrote:

> Riobard Zhan wrote:
>> I know it is nearly impossible even before I posted the original  
>> proposal. It is very difficult to justify a change for such a  
>> trivial issue. People will say, "OK, I'm perfectly fine with  
>> colons. Why bother?" And I cannot come up with anything more  
>> compelling than it will make the language more consistent and  
>> elegant.
> You haven't convinced anyone that the change will make the language  
> more consistent or elegant. Most people who have replied believe  
> that such a change would make the language FOOLISHLY consistent and  
> LESS elegant.

You haven't convince me the current choice makes Python SMARTLY  
inconsistent and MORE elegant, either. I do agree with you that we  
might probably stay the course, given the difficult nature of changing  
an entrenched habit for no obvious gain.  But that does not  
necessarily mean the old habit is a good choice in the first place.

> By all means try to get your idea across, that's what this list is  
> for. But in the absence of support from anyone else, you probably  
> should realise that this isn't going anywhere.

You seem to assume everyone else thinks in your way, which I do not  
think is the case. There are people who think we should kill colons  
(see the comment area here [http://python-history.blogspot.com/2009/02/early-language-design-and-development.html#comments 
] and here [http://python-history.blogspot.com/2009/01/pythons-design-philosophy.html#comments 
]). And if you are following the thread entirely, you will see there  
is an id called spir/Denis who thinks the same.

The problem is virtually all those who think colons should be optional  
will *not* even bother with such a trivial issue, let alone coming  
here and discussing it. In fact I would not bother either, until I was  
redirected here by Guido. The primary motive I came here was to throw  
in the proposal and see if there are any good counter-arguments to the  
idea. Up till now, I've yet seen one, except perhaps what Curt  
mentioned as "there doesn't even have to be a rational basis for that".

Now spir/Denis gave up. I think I should follow him, too. 
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