[Python-Dev] Strawman decision: @decorator won't change

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.com
Fri Sep 17 15:55:04 CEST 2004

On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 13:25:13 GMT, "Paul McGuire"
<ptmcg at austin.rr._bogus_.com> wrote:

>"Arthur" <ajsiegel at optonline.com> wrote in message
>news:15mlk0d63duukvnqtsrb4eguuldqd6ub2g at 4ax.com...
>> And were it opened for debate you would run into bizarre arguments in
>> its defense.  Like mine.
>Well, it *is* opened for debate, so knock yourself out.  The more bizarre
>the better, I'd say.
>> That there a mechanism in Python described by a arbitrary word,
>> "decorator" and provoked by an  arbitrary symbol '@'
>> The symbol *works*,  as a sore thumb and a tacit admission of
>> something,
>Why do STOP signs say STOP?  Why not put an arbitrary @ sign on them, and
>tell everyone it means STOP?

STOP means something. Its an English word with a meaning.

"@" doesn't mean anything, and communicates the fact that it does not.
It invokes electronics.

And the word to describe the invocation "decorator" also means

>Your argument is equally valid for *any* symbol.  Why choose this ugly blot?
>This arbitrary symbology is the way of Perl and APL.  I thought one of the
>beauties of Python was that it doesn't impose this kind of obtusity on the
>developer or maintainer.

Its arbitrariness (and even its ugliness) is an admission of the fact
that Python is not attempting to be purely not Perl and not APL.  Or
purely anyuthing else.

>> It is defended in this view by its anti-esthetic.
>Are you a Dada-ist?  Is Python becoming the Dada language?

Why not. Yes. I am. It always sounded like they were having fun. I am
a neo-Dadaist.

For today.

>> Having to put up with this kind of argument in its defense is perhaps
>> a good reason to not re-open the discussion.
>This sounds like another way of saying "this is a silly argument, and we
>would be better off without it."  The point is, just about *all* the
>arguments for this symbol or that will from here on *be* silly arguments.

There are much more cogent arguments, IMO, that we would be better off
without the functionality - then that the symbol matters.

I am Dadaist, or nihilist, on this one point.  In that it just doesn't
seem to matter.  So yes, to the extent my attitude is prevalent, it
would be difficult to work up a "movement" on the issue. 

If I thought it mattered, I vote for:


as suggested by Pail Rubin.


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