[Python-ideas] Boolean parameters guidelines
mal at egenix.com
Mon May 9 17:57:15 EDT 2016
On 09.05.2016 22:07, Guido van Rossum wrote:
> On Mon, May 9, 2016 at 1:00 PM, M.-A. Lemburg <mal at egenix.com> wrote:
>> On 09.05.2016 21:47, Guido van Rossum wrote:
>>> On Mon, May 9, 2016 at 12:36 PM, Barry Warsaw <barry at python.org> wrote:
>>>> On May 08, 2016, at 11:59 AM, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
>>>>> I think it is preferable *not* to have boolean parameters at all.
>>>>> I don't remember if this is Guido's name for it, but I remember him
>>>>> expressing the guideline "No constant bool arguments". If you have an
>>>>> argument which takes a bool, and is used solely to switch between two
>>>>> different modes, and the caller will most likely call the function with
>>>>> the argument as a constant known when writing the code (rather than
>>>>> taking an expression or variable with value not known until runtime),
>>>>> then it is usually better to split the function into two, one for
>>>>> each mode.
>> This seems overly strict, e.g. it's not uncommon to have functions
>> enable debugging, verbose processing or similar processing variants
>> using a boolean parameter.
> But usually the call site values for those wouldn't be constant -- they'd
> be computed from a command line flag for example. The key part of the
> phrasing is "the caller will most likely call the function with the
> argument as a constant known when writing the code".
Hmm, so if you'd typically pass in a constant for the parameter
it's deemed poor style, whereas when the value comes from some
variable, it's fine ?
This looks more like an API design question than a coding
E.g. take this example:
def process(data, raise_errors=True):
It's not clear whether the caller would run the function
with raise_errors=True or raise_errors=config.raise_errors
> FWIW I disagree with the lead-in phrase "I think it is preferable *not* to
> have boolean parameters at all."
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