Attitude about new keywords

John Roth johnroth at ameritech.net
Sun Feb 9 01:53:09 CET 2003


"Paul Rubin" <phr-n2003b at NOSPAMnightsong.com> wrote in message
news:7xvfzu9xy0.fsf at ruckus.brouhaha.com...
> David Eppstein <eppstein at ics.uci.edu> writes:
> > > I'd like to ask a meta-question about this: why is adding new
keywords
> > > something to be so urgently avoided?
> >
> > Because it can make previously-working code stop working, when the
new
> > keyword happens to match somebody's variable name.
>
> That's an argument for introducing new keywords sooner or later,
> before too much code gets written that uses those names for variables.

Actually, it's an argument for finding a mechanism that allows
keywords to be assigned from a separate name space. I've got an
idea for this on the back burner, for whenever Guido decides to open
suggestions for Python 3000. It's never going to get off the ground
for the current Python (let alone fly.)

What it requires is giving up the idea that you can write Python
programs using any old editor that happens to be lying around -
it will require a syntax aware editor to make this notion feasible.

Actually, now that I think about it, it could be put in the current
Python. It would break all the editors, but it wouldn't break
any existing programs. Guaranteed!

John Roth






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