[Python-ideas] Verbatim names (allowing keywords as names)

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Tue May 15 20:41:53 EDT 2018

Inspired by Alex Brault's  post:


I'd like to suggest we copy C#'s idea of verbatim identifiers, but using 
a backslash rather than @ sign:


would allow "name" to be used as an identifier, even if it clashes with 
a keyword.

It would *not* allow the use of characters that aren't valid in 
identifiers, e.g. this is out: \na!me  # still not legal

See usage #1 here:


If "verbatim name" is too long, we could call them "raw names", by 
analogy with raw strings.

I believe that \ is currently illegal in any Python expression, except 
inside strings and at the very end of the line, so this ought to be 
syntactically unambgiguous.

We should still include a (mild?) recommendation against using keywords 
unless necessary, and a (strong?) preference for the trailing underscore 
convention. But I think this doesn't look too bad:

    of = 'output.txt'
    \if = 'input.txt'
    with open(\if, 'r'):
        with open(of, 'w'):

maybe even nicer than if_.

Some examples:

    result = \except + 1

    result = something.\except

    result = \except.\finally


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