from __future__ import print

Roy Smith roy at
Sun Apr 20 16:12:20 CEST 2008

"Diez B. Roggisch" <deets at> wrote:

> You are aware that it is only one character more to type?

I'm not arguing for print vs. print(), but I do want to comment on the 
"character count" argument.

I'm a pretty good typist, the result of having been forced in junior high 
school (in the mid 70's) to learn typing the "right way" -- on a typewriter 
with blank keycaps.  It forced you to really learn to touch-type.  I don't 
know if this was some touchy-feely idea that if they girls had to learn to 
type (after all, they were all going to be secretaries) then it's only fair 
to make the boys learn it too.  Or, if they were just amazingly prescient 
about computers taking over the world and typing becoming an important 
high-tech skill.  Either way, I learned to touch type.

That being said, hitting the space bar is pretty much a freebie.  You can 
do it with either thumb(*), and you don't have to move your fingers from 
the home row.  To get the ( and ), you have to reach way up to the top row 
with one hand and down hit the shift key with the opposite pinkie.  A much 
costlier operation in terms of maintaining a good typing speed.

On the other hand, it's a well known (or at least well believed :-)) fact 
that code is read many more times than it's written.  Making something 
easier to read is much more important than making it easy to type.

(*) Oddly enough, as I type this and pay attention to what my fingers are 
doing, I find that I almost exclusively use the *left* thumb, which I never 
noticed before.

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