Numeric literal syntax (was: Py 2.6 changes)

Steven D'Aprano steven at
Tue Sep 2 08:10:51 CEST 2008

On Tue, 02 Sep 2008 11:13:27 +1000, Ben Finney wrote:

> bearophileHUGS at writes:
>> For Python 2.7/3.1 I'd now like to write a PEP regarding the
>> underscores into the number literals, like: 0b_0101_1111, 268_435_456
>> etc.
> +1 on such a capability.
> -1 on underscore as the separator.
> When you proposed this last year, the counter-proposal was made
> <URL:
> to instead use white space for the separator, exactly as one can now do
> with string literals.
> I don't see any good reason (other than your familiarity with the D
> language) to use underscores for this purpose, and much more reason
> (readability, consistency, fewer arbitrary differences in syntax,
> perhaps simpler implementation) to use whitespace just as with string
> literals.

At the risk of bike-shedding, I think that allowing arbitrary whitespace 
between string literals is fine, because it aids readability to write 

    "first part of the string"
    "another part of the string"
    "yet more of the string"
    "and a bit more"
    "and so on..."
but I'm not sure that it is desirable to allow this:


-1/2 on arbitrary whitespace, +1/2 on a single space, and +0 on 
underscores. If semi-colons didn't already have a use, I'd propose using 
them to break up numeric literals:



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