Proposal: allow '?' and '!' in identifiers

jcm grumble at
Sun Feb 25 11:36:31 EST 2001

Erik Max Francis <max at> wrote:
> Nathaniel Gray wrote:

>> Why not be hardcore and allow both?

> Because using a suffixed p to indicate predicates, if that is your
> liking, is already supported by the language.  Allowing ? in identifiers
> is not, and would require all sorts of weird parser logic to allow it in
> identifiers but not break backward compatibility.  It is simply not
> worth it.

I understand that you dislike the idea of allowing '?' in identifiers.
But it would not necessarily require "all sorts of weird parser
logic".  I expect it's a simple change to the lexer.  I haven't looked
at the Python codebase, so I don't know for sure.  But I've written
enough lexers and parsers to know what should be easy or difficult.

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