Proposed PEP for a Conditional Expression

Alex Martelli aleax at
Wed Sep 12 13:56:09 CEST 2001

<thp at> wrote in message news:9nnf0d$5qf$2 at
> : Exactly, except it's not a non-sequitur.  "Just satisfying people"
> : (by meeting every popular feature request) is NO way to design a
> : language (or, as it happens, any other large software system:-).
> And that is not a valid argument against any particular proposed
> feature.

Sure!  But the mistake in the PEP is putting forward the "what's
wrong with just satisfying people" rhetorical question as an
argument FOR a proposed feature.  It's a grossly invalid argument
and IMHO it should be either removed from the PEP, or clearly
marked as such -- invalid as an argument.

The need to keep the language small and simple is an argument
against _every_ feature (new and old: I just love it when
Python is able to shed old features that don't fully pull
their weight, although that's always harder to do than "not
adding new ones", because of backwards compatibility issues).

Any proposed feature must provide advantages large enough to
overcome this indispensable barrier to entry.  I think the
proposed conditional operator would be just about at the
threshold (I wouldn't particularly care either way if it
got in or stayed out) EXCEPT for the risk that it may in
fact encourage people to write more lambda's rather than
named local functions, which I see as a substantial minus.


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