For review: PEP 308 - If-then-else expression

Anders J. Munch andersjm at
Sat Feb 8 19:02:57 CET 2003

> Guido van Rossum <guido at> writes:
> >     The proposed syntax is as follows:
> >
> >         <expression1> if <condition> else <expression2>

The order of evaluation of this is middle-then-left-or-right.
Also, I keep misreading "A if B else C" as
    <condition> if <if-value> else <else-value>
-0.5 on this specific syntax.

PEP> if <condition> : <expression1> else: <expression2>
PEP> is even more confusing because it resembles the if statement so
PEP> much.

Ah, but I have a fix in store for that from the last time this was
discussed: Require parens around the expression.

Add to the grammar:

if_expr_list ::=
             if_expr ( "," if_expr )* [","]

if_expr ::=
             "if" comparison ":" if_expr "else" ":" if_expr
              | expression

and replace expression_list with if_expr_list in parenth_form, and
perhaps also in string_conversion and subscription, but not in
assignment_stmt, return_stmt, yield_stmt etc.

    x = (if A: B else: C) # legal
    x[if A: B else: C] = D # perhaps legal, or perhaps you need
    x[(if A: B else: C)] = D # legal
    print `if A: B else: C` # perhaps legal
    f(if A: B else: C, D) # legal, D is the second argument to f
    x = if A: B else: C  # ILLEGAL
    if if A: B else: C: # VERY ILLEGAL
    if (if A: B else: C): # legal

I think requiring parens like this would be a good idea with all
syntaxes, lest we want to see
    if A if B if C else D else E:

- Anders

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