Proposal: Decimal literals in Python.

J. Cliff Dyer jcd at
Sat Oct 27 01:17:18 CEST 2007

Matimus wrote:
>> - Traling characters at the end of a literal are already used (the L
>>   for long).
> The trailing L is going away in Python 3.0. For your consideration may
> I suggest a '$' prefix. Though, I'm not sure I even support the idea
> of a decimal literal, and I'm not even sure if I support the idea of
> using a prefix '$' to identify that literal, it seems somewhat
> fitting.
> So...
> Decimal("12.34") -> $12.34
> Pros:
>  - Easier to see than appended character (I think)
>  - Notation is fitting when dealing with monetary values
>  - Easy to remember
> Cons:
>  - Maybe too clever for its own good. Some people may be confused to
> find out that it isn't actually a monetary type.
> I'm sure there are more...
- Too U.S. centric.  Euro would be a slight improvement, as it doesn't
privilege one country, but still too region-centric.  Generic currency
marker from ISO 8859-1 would be even less unnecessarily specific, but
also too obscure.
- Looks funny if you use more or fewer than 2 decimal places. 
- Sacrifices clarity of meaning for brevity.
> Matt
My only problem with Decimal("12.34") is the quotation marks.  It makes
it look like a string type.


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