PEP-308 a "simplicity-first" alternative

David Gausebeck gausebec-spam at
Wed Feb 12 05:32:34 CET 2003

>Erik Max Francis <max at> writes:
>> The `and' there doesn't really give you a clue as to what's going on
>> (and, as someone else pointed out, what happens when this construct
>> appears in an expression involving more `and' operators?).  If you
>> really want this, then `C then x else y' seems a far better way to do
>> it, despite the flaw of adding an additional keyword.
>I don't remember ever seeing "then" as a variable name in any real
>program, but if a keyword is so objectionable and ? is too C-like,
>then another symbol (I favor "=>") can be used: C => x else y.

I've seen it used a couple times for timestamps, though that was in
C/C++.  e.g.

now = time(NULL);
then = now - 86400;

The idea of rejecting ? because it's too C-like just seems silly,
though.  It's already been used in another language, therefore it's
necessarily bad?  I can understand the objection that using
punctuation in this case is too cryptic, but of the available
punctuation, ? makes the most sense IMO, and it's not already used in


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