PEP 308: Alternative conditional operator forms

Michele Simionato mis6 at
Tue Feb 11 01:58:54 CET 2003

Peter Hansen <peter at> wrote in message news:<3E47EB90.65E212BD at>...
> Michele Simionato wrote:
> > 
> > Erik, thanks for offering your time to prepare the list. However, I think we
> > should first make sure that there is a majority of Pythonistas favorable to
> > the introduction of the ternary operator.  There is no point in arguing
> > between us about the more pythonic solution if 80% of users are already
> > against the ternary operator. 
> I would think you could consider Erik's efforts to be focusing on
> the secondary question of "how to do it", just for that potential
> 20% (which is likely larger, but that's another story) who do want
> the ternary operator.
> Don't stop someone who already knows he wants it from putting 
> together a list that will help likeminded people agree on the
> preferred syntax for that operator.
> > I think there is a big majority not
> > posting on c.l.p that could be contrary to the innovation and don't
> > bother to sent verbose postings. I fear this majority could kill
> > us at the voting moment (and maybe Guido counts on that).
> "counts on that"?  That ascribes a somewhat underhanded approach
> to this whole thing to someone who appeared to be very open and
> upfront about the whole issue.  Or am I misinterpreting your comment?

Guido could have added the ternary operator 10 years ago. He didn't. Now, 
there are three possibilities:

1) he thinks that now it would be more useful than ten years ago, since
now we have listcomp, lambdas etc. Still it is not 100% convinced and he
is asking for feedback.

2) he doesn't want it, but since people has kept requisting it for ten
years, he is willing to concede it for peace of mind. He doesn't think
it would be too much harmful.

3) he really thinks most pythonistas don't want it. If the votation is
   80% against, he has a good reason to refute it forever.

I am not a mind reader, I don't know what Guido thinks. Sometimes I propend
for 1), sometimes for 2), sometimes for 3). Who knows ?

>I don't understand all the comments about who can be trusted
> to manage the voting, who has ulterior motives, etc... this
> isn't *that* big a deal, is it?  This is the discussion phase,
> where people's opinions can be swayed (even repeatedly :-) and
> some of the sillier arguments can be eliminated.  After the 
> dust settles, either a consensus emerges, or the need to 
> vote is clear and we can proceed to that step.  It doesn't
> really seem we're there yet, to me.
> -Peter

We will see.


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