PEP-xxx: Unification of for statement and list-comp syntax

Carl Banks invalidemail at
Mon May 22 01:13:01 CEST 2006

Edward Elliott wrote:
> Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules. (proposal eliminates
> the current special case for comprehensions/generators)

It really isn't a special case, though.  It might seem like it is, but
it's not at all when you remember the rules of equivalence between
listcomps and regular statements.

This listcomp:

[ x for x in y ]

is, by definition, semantically equivalent to this (except it's an
expression instead of a statement):

for x in y:

If you have two fors in the listcomp, the second for is equivalent to a
nested for.  This:

[ x for y in z for x in y ]

is, by defintion, equivalent to this:

for y in z:
    for x in y:

Likewise, an if gets its own nested block in the equivalent statements.

[ x for x in y if x is not None ]

is, by definition, equivalent to this:

for x in y:
    if x is not None:

In other words, each for and if in a listcomp is equivalent to a nested
block in a regular statement.  There's a regular way to nest, and
listcomp way, and they're separate.  This PEP suggests we should mix
them up--now *that's* a special case.

Carl Banks

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