Any syntactic cleanup likely for Py3? And what about doc standards?
kenneth.m.mcdonald at sbcglobal.net
Wed Sep 5 21:02:06 CEST 2007
The reading I've done so far on Python 3 (alpha announcement, meta-PEP,
some other PEPs) is generally encouraging, but there doesn't seem to be
much on cleaning up the syntax, which has become uglier over time as
features have been added on to an original syntax that wasn't designed
to support them. It seems to me (from what little I've read--I admit
that it's impossible to know for sure without experimenting quite a bit,
for which I don't currently have the time) that new features such as
multimethods might just make things more confusing (especially for
newbies) in a lot of ways, without appropriate syntactic support.
Currently the most obvious example of this is Python 2.5's way of
defining properties, which is ugly. leads often to writing of
unnecessary code, and certainly doesn't make property code clear to a
reader. Contrast this to the way properties (things that look like an
instance variable but are actually bound to methods) are handled in Ruby
and (IIRC, this also does a decent job) C#.
On the other hand, it does seem that some new syntactic support for
other features will be added, so perhaps I'm just missing whichever PEPs
talk about going back and adding cleaner syntax for existing features...?
Finally, another thing I've perhaps missed, but I can't see anything in
what I've gone through, about correcting of of what I see to be one of
Python's most long-standing really serious flaws, which is the lack of
an official standard documentation markup syntax for writing
documentation in code. This isn't even a matter of getting something
developed, it's simply a matter of Guido and the Powers That Be
bestowing their benediction on one of the several adequate or better
documentation toolsets out there, so that more of us (slowly) start
using it. Eventually this will result in work on the toolset itself,
more people will be willing to use it, and there'll be a nice virtuous
circle. Given how much more capable D'Oxygen is than any of the
Python-specific solutions, I'd vote for D'Oxygen myself, but I'd prefer
to have almost anything fill in this vacuum, rather than continue things
the way they are.
As I say, I don't get the time I'd like to put into reading up on Py3,
so please feel free to correct, point out references, etc. etc.
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