Annoying octal notation
ethan at stoneleaf.us
Thu Aug 27 19:31:04 CEST 2009
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> A mistake is still a mistake even if it shared with others.
> Treating its with a lead zero as octal was a design error when it was
> first thought up
I have to disagree with you on this one. The computing world was vastly
different when that design decision was made. Space was at a premium,
programmers were not touch-typists, every character had to count, and
why in the world would somebody who had to use papertape or punch cards
add a lead zero without a *real* good reason? I submit that that real
good reason was to specify an octal literal, and not a decimal literal.
Now many many years have passed, much has changed, and a leading zero
(like so much else) no longer makes the sense in once did -- especially
in a very wide-spread and general purpose language like Python. That
does not mean it was not a very good decision at the time.
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