Py3K idea: why not drop the colon?
rrr at ronadam.com
Fri Nov 10 20:01:06 CET 2006
Michael Hobbs wrote:
> The same problem that is solved by not having to type parens around the
> 'if' conditional, a la C and its derivatives. That is, it's unnecessary
> typing to no good advantage, IMHO. I was coding in Ruby for several
> months and got very comfortable with just typing the if conditional and
> hitting return, without any extra syntax. When I came back to Python, I
> found that I felt annoyed every time I typed the colon, since it
> obviously isn't required. The FAQ says that the colon increases
> readability, but I'm skeptical. The indentation seems to provide more
> than enough of a visual clue as to where the if conditional ends.
I'm not sure why '\'s are required to do multi-line before the colon. Possibly
because if multi-line conditional expressions are the norm, dropping a colon
could result in valid (but incorrect) code instead of an error?
The faq also pointed out a technical reason for requiring the colon. It makes
the underlying parser much easier to write and maintain. This shouldn't be
taken to lightly in my opinion, because a simpler easer to maintain and more
reliable python parser means development time can be spent improving the
language in other areas instead of fixing parsing problems every time a new
feature is added that might be used in a conditional expression.
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