Py3K idea: why not drop the colon?

Michael Hobbs mike at
Mon Nov 13 21:56:15 CET 2006

Robert Kern wrote:
> Michael Hobbs wrote:
>> In the end, I have to admit that I really couldn't give a flying frog if 
>> the colon is there or not. It's just a colon, after all. I *was* hoping 
>> that I could convince someone to honestly think about it and consider if 
>> the colon is really that noticeable. But so far, the only response that 
>> I've received is that there's that ABC study somewhere and that settles 
>> that.
> Empirical usability research carries a lot of weight. Certainly more so than
> projection of personal preferences.

Yes, but all we have is a passing mention of it in the FAQ. If someone 
could actually find the full content of the study and show that it is 
[still] relevant to Python, I'd give it a lot of weight too. As it 
stands, I've become far too jaded by so-called "studies" (both technical 
and medical) to accept them on blind faith.

> But for what it's worth, my personal preference is that having the colon is more
> readable. Yours isn't. That's fine. Debating on that basis, however, is pretty
> pointless.

True enough. Although, I have to ask how many times you define a new 
function only to have Python spit a syntax error out at you saying that 
you forgot a colon. It happens to me all the time. (Usually after an 
"else") If you'd never notice that the colon was missing if the compiler 
didn't point it out, is it really that readable? For me, I tend to get 
annoyed at language "features" that I'm constantly tripping over.

- Mike

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