Proposed PEP for a Conditional Expression

Greg Weeks weeks at
Fri Sep 14 04:20:57 CEST 2001

Michael Chermside (mcherm at wrote:
:      ARG_23: Lots of people ask for it.
:          Lots of people ask for a conditional expression. Even if the
:          other pro arguments don't convince you, what harm is there in
:          settling this one? For a LONG time, we used to hear
:          complaints about how Python lacked "+=", "*=" and such; now
:          that it has them, the complaints have died to a trickle.
:          What's wrong with just satisfying people?

*Which* people?  People who want additions post all the time.  People who
don't want additions do not post all the time.  We just go about our
business, and the next thing we know a half-baked nested scopes proposal
has been implemented.

Okay, that was bitter.  I apologize to those who are fond or proud of
nested scopes.  But I consider it one of a handful of minor blemishes on my
favorite language.  Still, I should focus on the word "minor".  Python is
not going to hell in a handbasket.  I am, though, concerned that it is
getting slightly worse instead of slightly better.

Anyway, if you satisfy all the people who want additions you'll end up with
Perl and TIMTOWTDI.  Besides, if you really want to satisfy the majority of
people, just give them Perl.  For some reason, your average hardware
engineer just loves Perl and hasn't the slightest interest in Python.

I admit that these are just my impressions.  I don't have the time (or the
experience) to have a firm opinion.  But my impression is that we're
messing with a language that is better off left alone.  We should be
working on spreading the word and implementing new modules, not on
administering what may turn out to be the death of a thousand cuts.


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