Proposal: allow '?' and '!' in identifiers
n8gray at caltech.edu.is.my.email.address
Tue Feb 20 01:21:35 EST 2001
Joshua Marshall wrote:
> David Allen <s2mdalle at titan.vcu.edu> wrote:
> >> If the addition of '!' as a valid identifier character causes too many
> >> waves, it would still be nice to see '?'.
> > Why? How would this make the language more expressive?
> > How would it make your programming tasks easier?
> > Is introducing new and strange behavior (such as your
> > a!=b example) worth it? Why?
> Introducing some strange behavior with '!' may very well not be worth
> it. However, while adding '?' as a legal identifier character does
> not make the Python more expressive, it can make Python programs more
> self-documenting. The convention of ending predicate function names
> with '?' is useful, in my opinion.
(Or should that be "Hear hear?")
IMHO it's not worth adding "!", but if "?" doesn't break anything then it's
a net gain. I assert that it _would_ make Python more expressive to add an
elegant way of indicating that a function returns only boolean values.
Unfortunately, I doubt you'll see much support for deviating from [a-zA-Z_]
on this newsgroup. Programmers of languages not descended from C (other
than Python, of course) are in the minority, even among Pythonistas. There
may be some cause for hope, though, because among python-dev subscribers I
suspect they're in the majority!
California Institute of Technology
Computation and Neural Systems
n8gray <at> caltech <dot> edu
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