Relax Syntax for Augmented Arithmetic?

andrew cooke andrew at
Sun Jan 18 11:56:55 CET 2009

Context -

Just a suggestion I thought I'd throw out...  There's a restriction in
the language implementation on exactly what can go the left of an
augmented arithmetic expression.

For example:
>>> a = 3
>>> a **= 2

is ok, but:
>>> class Foo():
...   def __init__():
...     self.a = 3
...   def __ipow__(self, x):
...     self.a **= x
>>> Foo() **= 2
  File "<stdin>", line 1
SyntaxError: illegal expression for augmented assignment

Now unless I've done something stupid above (always a possibility :o)
the implementation seems a bit strict (is it really a *syntax* error?
- I am not sure exactly what the restriction is).

This may seems like a small issue, but operators can really help with
making embedded DSLs in Python - they give quite a bit of "wiggle
room" to invent a syntax that is compact and intuitive.  The
restriction above cuts into that (OK, so it's still a small
issue... :o)


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