New Python 3.0 string formatting - really necessary?

Steve Holden steve at
Sat Dec 20 14:25:53 CET 2008

r wrote:
> On Dec 19, 10:04 pm, Steve Holden <st... at> wrote:
>> r wrote:
>>> Thanks Steven,
>>> We need a real Pepsi challenge here to show the insignificance of this
>>> change. I am not against change. But when we lose something as -
>>> compact- as %formating i'm going to want to see a damn good reason for
>>> it! Especially when this breaks code, and the "French Connection" is
>>> not good enough reason for me :)
>>> Christian said this was not going to be depreciated until 3.2, but
>>> that still puts the accepted way on the chopping block.
>> If Python is so important to you it's a pity you haven't been playing
>> any active role in its development. Do you expect the developers to be
>> psychic?
> Steve,
> I just recently started to have an opinion about these things. "The
> squeaky wheel get the grease", just allowing my voice be heard. It
> might seem that i am trashing Python dev, but that could not be
> further from the truth.
> Many great changes have been made in 3.0, i just feel strongly about C
> style formating. Why could't we improve on what we had instead of
> making radical changes? Thats all i am asking.

I wasn't really a part of the decision-making process, but I anticipate
that the developers' reply would be that the new scheme is much more
adaptable, both to new data types (which can implement their own
__format__ method) and to internationalization (because it's possible to
alter word order in the format strings).

Thanks for clarifying your approach, by the way, which isn't as
unreasonable as it first seemed if you've only recently started using
Python. You will find over time that the developers are right about
these decisions much more than they are wrong, and you still have a
couple of years to get used to it ;-)


Steve Holden        +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC    

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