[Python-ideas] Multi-line comment blocks.

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Sat Jun 16 00:51:09 CEST 2012

On Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 3:47 PM, David Gates <gatesda at gmail.com> wrote:
> My proposal wasn't for people who hand-code the single-line comment syntax
> but for those that use multi-line string comments.  Since the multi-line
> string hack's BDFL-approved, people will use it and other people will have
> to deal with it.

What's wrong with it?

> The best alternative would be official discouragement of multi-line string
> comments.  It's fine if Python doesn't have an officially-sanctioned
> multi-line comment syntax, but if it's going to have one, it should have one
> that makes sense.

What doesn't make sense about it?


> On Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 4:12 PM, Steven D'Aprano <steve at pearwood.info>
> wrote:
>> David Gates wrote:
>>> Multi-line strings as comments don't nest, don't play well with
>>> docstrings,
>>> and are counter-intuitive when there's special language support for
>>> single-line comments. Python should only have one obvious way to do
>>> things,
>> That's not what the Zen says. The zen says:
>> There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it.
>> which is a positive statement that there should be an obvious way to solve
>> problems, NOT a negative statement that there shouldn't be non-obvious ways.
>>> and Python has two ways to comment, only one of which is obvious. My
>>> suggestion is to add language support for comment blocks, using Python's
>>> existing comment delimiter:
>> There is already support for nested multi-line comments: the humble #
>> symbol can be nested arbitrarily deep. All you need is a modern editor that
>> understands Python syntax, and with a single command you can comment or
>> uncomment a block:
>> # This is a commented line.
>> # def fun(a, b, c):
>> #     """Docstrings are fine when commented"""
>> #     pass
>> #     # This is a nested comment.
>> # And no need for an end-delimiter either.
>> If your editor is old or too basic, you can do it by hand, which is a
>> pain, but doable.
>> Python doesn't need dedicated syntax to make up for the limitations of
>> your editor. Don't complicate the language for the sake of those poor fools
>> stuck using Notepad.
>> --
>> Steven
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--Guido van Rossum (python.org/~guido)

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