print "hello", >> file

Jp Calderone exarkun at
Tue Feb 25 21:40:08 CET 2003

On Tue, Feb 25, 2003 at 08:22:43PM +0000, phil hunt wrote:
> On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 13:47:04 -0500, Jp Calderone <exarkun at> wrote:
> [snip]
> >
> >  This rebinds "s" to a new string object.  I suppose this hypothetical "<<"
> >operator could do the same.
> Indeed. IMOv it's irrelevant whether += (or <<, or whatever) is 
> implemented by modifying an existing object or binding to a new one 
> -- that's just an implementation detail, of no more significance 
> bthan whether the underlying processor is a Pentium or ARM.

  No way.  It -totally- matters.  Imagine you have a Queue object you use to
pass messages between two unrelated parts of your program.  You could define
+= for this Queue to add new messages to it.

    messageQueue += newMessage


    message = messageQueue.pop()

  Now imagine that += rebinds the left-hand argument to a new Queue object. 
Oops!  The other part of your program will never receive any messages!

  Ignore that this is a ridiculous example (who would have an immutable
Queue?) and just consider the implications of the implementation leaving
unspecified whether an operation modified the object in place or rebound it
to a new one.  It is unlikely that any programs would work at all.

> > OTOH, why does anyone want yet -another- way to
> >concatenate strings?
> I don't particularly. I think that if Python had been designed from 
> scratch to use << for all 3, it'd be more concise and a cleaner 
> design -- but we are not designing Python from scratch.

  Or possibly if "print" did not exist at all ;)  The file IO API is quite
clean and consise if you disregard it (sys.stdin and sys.stdout have "read"
and "write" methods, like any other file).  However, just for fun:

    class iostream(file):
        def __lshift__(self, arg):
            file.write(self, str(arg))
            return self

  Knock yourself out ;)


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