[Python-ideas] Reporting unmatched parentheses in SyntaxError messages?

Florian Bruhin me at the-compiler.org
Wed Jul 8 08:09:20 CEST 2015

* Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> [2015-07-08 15:53:44 +1000]:
> One of the more opaque error messages new Python users can encounter
> is a syntax error due to unmatched parentheses:
>     File "/home/me/myfile.py", line 11
>         data = func()
>         ^
>     SyntaxError: invalid syntax
> While I have no idea how we could implement it, I'm wondering if that
> might be clearer if the error message instead looked more like this:
>     File "/home/me/myfile.py", line 11
>         data = func()
>         ^
>     SyntaxError: invalid syntax (Unmatched '(' on line 10)
> [...]

I can't comment on the implementation - but I can confirm this comes
up a lot in the #python IRC channel. People usually paste that line
and ask what is wrong with it, and the answer usually is "look on the
previous line".

I can imagine having this error message instead would help people
understand what's going on, without having to *know* they should look
at the previous line when there's a SyntaxError which "makes no


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