Py3K idea: why not drop the colon?

Michael Hobbs mike at
Mon Nov 13 19:30:59 CET 2006

Ron Adam wrote:
> skip at wrote:
>>     >>>>> I'm not sure why '\'s are required to do multi-line before the colon.
>>     >>>> Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules.
>>     >>>> 
>>     >>>> Georg
>>     >>> A bit of a circular answer.
>>     >>> 
>>     >>> Why the rule? -> So not to break the rule?
>>     >> 
>>     >> You proposed to allow leaving off line continuation '\' only in the
>>     >> "if", "for" and "while" headers. This is a special case in my eyes.
>>     Ron> I wasn't that specific and it was related to Michael's suggestion
>>     Ron> the colon wasn't needed. If the need for '\' was dropped in
>>     Ron> multi-line block headers, then the colon would be required for an
>>     Ron> obvious reason.
>> But \ is used to continue all sorts of statements/expressions, e.g.:
>>     x = a + \
>>           b
>> not just conditionals.
>> Skip
> Of course, and your point is?
> How about if it be ok to continue to use '\' in headers, but it also be ok to 
> not to?  That would be the backward compatible way to change it.
> This doesn't answer the question I was asking, are there any situation where it 
> would cause problems?  And if so, that reason would be a good and explicit 
> reason for not making such a change

To be clear, this is the actual thrust of my argument. It seems 
redundant to have *both* line continuations and colons in compound 
statements. I've been arguing for the removal of colons, though to be 
honest, I'd be content with the opposite approach as well.

- Mike

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