Multi-argument append() is illegal

Gordon McMillan gmcm at
Tue Feb 29 03:36:12 CET 2000

Alexander Williams wrote:

> On Mon, 28 Feb 2000 10:41:02 -0500, Guido van Rossum <guido at> wrote:
> >I am going to rectify this in Python 1.6 -- people coming from other
> >languages might well expect list.append(a, b, c) to mean the same as
> >list.append(a); list.append(b); list.append(c), and it's always been
> >my philosophy to make ambiguous syntax illegal rather than to pick one
> >interpretation randomly.
> This would seem to violate the Principal of Least Surprise, at least
> when considering the rest of the language.  Unless you also start
> requiring the presence of parens on every other construction of a
> tuple (as in:
>    >>> a, b, c = string.split("1 2 3")
> ) you're introducing inconsistancy with Python in general.

Hardly. The only way to make f(a,b,...) identical to f((a,b,...)) 
for an arbitrary number of args is to play games with *args in f. 
The fact that it happens to work with append right now is the 

- Gordon

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