PEP 308: I liked the original proposal better

Erik Max Francis max at
Fri Feb 14 06:54:25 CET 2003

"Greg Ewing (using" wrote:

> On the other hand, the current proposal
>     (if C: x else: y)
> while workable, is rather dull and boring. It's also a lot
> less concise, requiring 4 extra characters, all of which are
> rather intrusive-looking punctuation. It feels awkward
> and clumsy by comparison.

If I may be so bold, dullness and strict conciseness objections miss the
point.  The goal of a Pythonic conditional operator is one that 1.
exhibits short-circuiting behavior, 2. is readable, and 3. is hopefully
fairly intuitive.  I don't care whether the syntax bores me stiff as
long as its readable.  I'm not looking for novelty, I'm looking for

Furthermore, the goal isn't _strictly_ to get a form that is as short as
absolutely possible, the goal is to get something readable in an
expression.  Four characters' difference seems a trifle.

The main issue with the `x if C else y' form, which I'm neutral toward,
is that it reads in an unexpected order (it's middle-left-right, instead
of strictly left-to-right), and that has been from my experience the
biggest objection to it that has been raised in the threads (and which I
agree with).

 Erik Max Francis / max at /
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