conditional expressions

Peter Hansen peter at
Thu Sep 26 08:34:23 EDT 2002

Mike Rovner wrote:
> "Greg Ewing" <see_reply_address at something.invalid> wrote in message
> news:3D911FE1.1050801 at something.invalid...
> > thp at wrote:
> >
> > Personally, I rather like
> >
> >     a if b else c
> >
> > but Guido doesn't like that either, unfortunately.
> >
> > Perhaps I'll slip it into Pyrex when no-one's looking...:-)
> It's not as readable as one think ;)

Agreed!  If nothing else, it fails the test of Least Surprise.
You have to stop and think "does the conditional test *really*
lie in the middle of this expression?".

> I, personally, read this as 'take a if b is true else take c' which
> corresponds to 'b? a: c' in C.

Surely that's exactly what he meant?

> So, please, don't create ambiguity from nowhere.

I'm not so sure it's ambiguous, as surprising.  Would anyone
really interpret that differently, after they stopped to think?


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