Poll - Vote here for "list-after-def" (was Decorator syntax)

Paul McGuire ptmcg at austin.rr._bogus_.com
Fri Aug 6 12:23:44 CEST 2004

"Anthony Baxter" <anthonybaxter at gmail.com> wrote in message
news:mailman.1258.1091771072.5135.python-list at python.org...
> Note that Guido has ruled this form out, in a pretty strong way ("I really
> hate this"[1][2]) so if you want to change his mind, you'll need to come
up with
> arguments as to why he's wrong.
> I'm not saying that this isn't possible, more that merely collecting a
> vote isn't likely to do much. Strong technical arguments are much more
> to work.
> [1] http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2004-March/043756.html
> [2] http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2004-August/046672.html
> ... and a bunch of other posts in the archives.

In http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2004-March/043835.html, in
response to Phillip J. Eby's observation that most of the list-after-def
proponents have the most concrete examples, GvR states, "Maybe the
practitioners are so eager to have something usable that they aren't swayed
as much by esthetics."  I'm not sure that any arguments are going to sway
his view of what's esthetic, it sounds more like a subjective/gut reaction.

I'll confess, in the past I *haven't* monitored the pydev list.  Up to now
I've been very comfortable with what I thought was the overall philosophy
for the language, its general cleanness and simplicity of structure.  The
general recoil from all things Perl was generally in alignment with my own
views - truly, some of the commentary on the obscurity and arcaneness of
Perl's wanton use of punctuation helped clarify for me just what it was I
disliked about it.  Perhaps this is what jars me so about the introduction
of the (to me unesthetic) '@'.

So if this really comes down to personal taste, I'm not sure what "technical
argument" will change that.  It seems that all of the really technical
issues have been raised, and, given no clear winner, Guido has fallen back
on esthetics.  It also seems that the passionate rejection at EuroPython of
list-before-def had an influence on him - and I think that this poll was an
attempt at conveying a similar passion against 'at-sign' (as we old folks
call it).

In the interests of putting forth technically-grounded response, I'd point
to the post by daishi (subject: @decorators), that this new syntax breaks
the basic heuristic of using indentation to indicate scope.  What more core
aspect of the language is there?

-- Paul
If I'd wanted to write in Java, I'dve written in Java.
Keep Python Beautiful.

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