Annoying octal notation

Ben Finney ben+python at
Sat Aug 22 02:09:29 CEST 2009

Derek Martin <code at> writes:

> Sure, but that won't stop people who've been writing code for 20 years
> from continuing to type octal that way... Humans can learn fairly
> easily, but UN-learning is often much harder, especially when the
> behavior to be unlearned is still very commonly in use.

This is exactly the argument for removing ‘012’ octal notation: humans
(and programmers who have far less need for octal numbers than for
decimal numbers) are *already* trained, and reinforced many times daily,
to think of that notation as a decimal number. They should not need to
un-learn that association in order to understand octal literals in code.

> Anyway, whatever. This change (along with a few of the other seemingly
> arbitrary changes in 3.x) is annoying, but Python is still one of the
> best languages to code in for any multitude of problems.

Hear hear.

 \     “I wrote a song, but I can't read music so I don't know what it |
  `\    is. Every once in a while I'll be listening to the radio and I |
_o__)        say, ‘I think I might have written that.’” —Steven Wright |
Ben Finney
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