Python Quiz

Grant Edwards grante at
Wed Jul 16 17:15:47 CEST 2003

In article <3F156952.AD24AAB8 at>, Peter Hansen wrote:

>>> Of course, I'm not suggesting that whitespace is *meaningless*
>>> in Python outside of indentation... Python is much like C (and
>>> many, many others) in that regard. 
>> Note that Fortran (at least historic Fortran - not sure about
>> those upstart 9x variants) is *not* among the "many, many
>> others." One can write any of
>>         DO 10 I = something
>>         DO10I = something
>>         D O 1 0 I = something
>> and leave it to the compiler to figure out whether you're
>> starting a DO-loop or assigning a value to the variable DO10I.
> If you are saying that you leave it up to the compiler to
> decide how to interpret any of the three above statements, then
> clearly whitespace is *not* meaningless.

IIRC (it's been a _long_ time) it's not up to the compiler. All
three of the above are required to be treated the same by the
compiler (a DO loop).

> It might be compiler-dependent or something, but no
> meaningless.  Unless you are saying that on a given FORTRAN
> compiler, only one possible interpretation of all three
> statements above is possible.

I don't think it's "on a given FORTRAN compiler", I think it's
more like "according to the language definition for FORTRAN IV".

> That would be surprising.

Yup. I found a lot of things in FORTRAN surprising.  Python is
so much nicer in that respect.  Though I was recently surprised
that the remove() method for lists uses "==" and not "is" to
determine what to remove.  It's documented that it works that
way. But, it wasn't what I excpected, and it took me a while to
figure out that it was using my class's __cmp__ method rather
than the object ID.

Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  Go on, EMOTE! I
                                  at               was RAISED on thought

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