Confused about pep 318

Peter Hansen peter at
Thu Aug 5 20:30:31 CEST 2004

Anthony Baxter wrote:

> On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 13:29:29 -0400, Peter Hansen <peter at> wrote:
>>I'll make another donation to PSF if the final decorator syntax
>>does not Perlishly use arbitrary punctuation as the @ syntax does.
> FFS. What exactly is "Perlish" about @? It's an unused symbol. That's all.

"For Fucks Sake", presumably?  Sorry you're feeling pressured by this...

Anyway, that is exactly what is Perlish about it.  Perl takes pretty
much every unused symbol and finds some completely arbitrary way
to use them, just because they are there.  So far, Guido has
avoided that (almost?) entirely in Python, using symbols that
have very well-established meanings in other computer languages and
even outside of the computer realm itself (e.g. the use of colon).

It surprises me that he didn't discard this choice out of hand.

I'm also surprised that the choice which had the greatest public
support during the straw poll at PyCon isn't still under discussion,
but I readily admit I'm neither following nor participating in
the pydev discussions where it was presumably dropped for some valid


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