Cameron Laird claird at
Mon Aug 23 15:39:15 CEST 1999

In article <1278776075-25895447 at>,
Gordon McMillan <gmcm at> wrote:
>Xavier Bec writes:
>> Why are the double dots ":" necessary after a if, for or while
>> instruction ?
>> All the others instructions are terminated with a cariage return but
>> not condition or loop ones. I know that a semi-column is facultative
>> and only used if you have to put a second instruction on the same
>> line. Why is not the same for if, etc.
>From the standpoint of parsing, the colon is redundant to the 
>following INDENT. As I understand the history, their usage is 
>mandatory because of user testing done on ABC, which was one of a 
>host of influences on the design of Python.
>For some reason, the dominant hominid specie of planet Earth is 
>uncomfortable without a certain level of redundancy. Some members 
>thereof have taken this predeliction to ridiculous extremes, creating 
>languages such as "Java".
Fredrik labeled the controlled dimension "readability".
As I understand the description, it specifically has to
do with accessibility for *beginners* in a language.
This inspires two reactions:
1.  We need a word to distinction the quality
    that people-who-don't-already-know-it-can-
2.  Maybe this'll help sharpen the sniping
    between proponents of Python and Java
    syntaxes about how the latter is slanted
    *too* much toward newbies.

Cameron Laird 
claird at      +1 281 996 8546 FAX

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