int literals and __class__ (WAS: Is a list an instance of a class?)

Steve Holden steve at
Tue Nov 16 13:25:30 CET 2004

Steven Bethard wrote:

> Dan Bishop <danb_83 <at>> writes:
>>You don't have to ask *that* nicely.
>>>>>1 .__class__  # notice the space
>><type 'int'>
> Why does this work?  Or, perhaps my real question is why *doesn't* it work
> without the space?  Pointers to the appropriate point in the docs would be
> fine...  I assume it's something about making parsing easier...?
> Thanks,
> Steve
Yup, it's because a dot immediately following an integer would be parsed 
(strictly "lexed", I suppose) as a floating point constant,m aking the 
__class__ a syntax error.

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