simple perl program in python gives errors

Steve Holden steve at
Mon Jan 30 12:07:05 EST 2006

squash at wrote:
> I am a little annoyed at why such a simple program in Perl  is causing
> so much difficulty for python, i.e:
> $a += 200000 * 140000;
> print $a;
Yes, an annoying feature of the Python interpreter is that it doesn't 
always interpret Perl correctly.

You will find, though, that

   print 200000 * 140000

works quite well in both languages (with or without the trailing 

Variables in Python don't need a $ or @ to indicate whether they are 
scalar or structured - that depends on their value.


   a = 0
   a += 200000 * 140000

should also work quite well. Note the first assignment is needed because 
while there's no need to declare variables, you cannot assume a value 
until they have been assigned one (in Pythonic jargon "bound to a value").

What does "+=" mean in Perl, by the way? Does it just assume $a is zero 
if it isn't currently existent?

happily-forgotten-perl-ly y'rs  - steve
Steve Holden       +44 150 684 7255  +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC           
PyCon TX 2006        

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