[Python-ideas] Allow additional separator character in variables

Stephen J. Turnbull turnbull.stephen.fw at u.tsukuba.ac.jp
Mon Nov 20 20:51:30 EST 2017

Mikhail V writes:

 > On Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 5:46 AM, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
 > > Please kill this thread.
 > So the idea is too bad?

No, the idea is *not* bad, it's just not for Python.  As has been true
for every one of your ideas for language tweaks that I can recall.

There are *millions* of Python programmers by now.  There are more
lines of Python being written and read in a day than you could write
or read in your lifetime.  It's just not practical to *change* the
meaning of valid lexical constructs this way, and the rules you want
could easily have edge cases that confuse a lot of people.  We have a
lot of experience with such edge cases, both in Python ("else" clauses
on loops, and Python 3 itself, come to mind) and out.  We don't like
them, as a rule, and introduce them only only when they allow a better
expression of something that is quite awkward without them, and
preferably only when they express new semantics (ie, something
previously impossible).

If it were just one idea, I'd say "suck it up, Mikhail, and get with
the programming language".  But your ideas are consistently
superficially plausible, taking a few seconds of reflection to see
that, yes, they could be done, but they are not going to be accepted
in mainline Python.  The problem with them is that you propose them
for Python, not the specific ideas themselves.

The solution is as proposed earlier: create your own language.  It
shouldn't be excessively hard to write a preprocessor for "mvlang"
targeting Python.  It has historical precedent: that's how Stroustrup
originally implemented C++.  It allows smooth interchange of programs
with people who know Python, no matter how much you add or change.
If, having elaborated all your ideas into this new language, you find
yourself unwilling to write in Python, then it's time to publish your
language, because other people may feel the same level of attraction
to it.

But ... it *will* be a different language, not Python.

Steve (not speaking for any other Steves, Stevens, or Stephens)

Associate Professor              Division of Policy and Planning Science
http://turnbull/sk.tsukuba.ac.jp/     Faculty of Systems and Information
Email: turnbull at sk.tsukuba.ac.jp                   University of Tsukuba
Tel: 029-853-5175                 Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN

More information about the Python-ideas mailing list