Py3K idea: why not drop the colon?

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Mon Nov 13 21:26:04 CET 2006

John Salerno <johnjsal at> writes:

> personally, i don't mind the colon and see no need to lose it, but
> if we are talking in the realm of aesthetics, it actually seems like
> it would be cleaner if it weren't there...sure, at first everyone
> who is used to it might feel like something is missing, or the line
> is "hanging" open, but overall the less characters, the better,
> right? isn't that why the braces are gone?

No. "The fewer characters, the better" is not right. Such absolutes
are to be avoided.

Sometimes, as in the case of omitting block-enclosing braces, removing
characters results in better readability. Other times, as in the case
of explicit names for objects, *more* characters results in better
readability -- but only up to a point.

Readability doesn't vary directly or inversely with the number of
characters, even though it is affected when they change.

 \      "I bought a self learning record to learn Spanish. I turned it |
  `\        on and went to sleep; the record got stuck. The next day I |
_o__)                could only stutter in Spanish."  -- Steven Wright |
Ben Finney

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