Smalltak [RE: Whitespace as syntax (was Re: Python Rocks!)]

Thomas Wouters thomas at
Fri Feb 11 11:59:43 EST 2000

On Fri, Feb 11, 2000 at 05:30:08AM +0000, Aahz Maruch wrote:
> In article <000601bf7382$c3009040$8e2d153f at tim>,
> Tim Peters <tim_one at> wrote:
> >
> >and-get-those-ugly-colons-out-of-smalltalk<wink>-ly y'rs  - tim
> Here's an interesting question that I don't think I've seen here: given
> that the semicolon is not a significant character in Python, why wasn't
> it chosen as the tuple creator?  Would make it a lot easier to do, say,
> def foo(bar):
> 	print bar
> foo(a;b;c)

If I read the history and historic files correctly, functions used to take
only a single argument, which could be a tuple. And the automatic conversion
was added later, I think. In any case, it makes sense. If it looks like a
tuple, it IS a tuple ;)

Adding different syntax for tuples (or for argument-declaration and -passing)
would probably cause all kinds of confusions... When something is a tuple
and when it is an argument seperator, for instance ;P

Thomas Wouters <thomas at>

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