Relax Syntax for Augmented Arithmetic?

andrew cooke andrew at
Sun Jan 18 13:56:52 CET 2009

On Jan 18, 9:40 am, Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch <bj_... at> wrote:
> On Sun, 18 Jan 2009 04:24:04 -0800, andrew cooke wrote:
> > my argument was that *= is not treated as = and *, but as a completely
> > new operator (the docs even say that the implementation need not return
> > self which suggests some pretty extreme semantics were envisaged).
> What do you mean by "suggests … extreme semantics"?  Most natural thing
> is to use numbers and there you *have* to be able to return something
> different than `self` to get anything useful.  For instance:
>  n *= 3
> with `n` bound to a number different from zero can't return `self` from
> `__imul__`.

in your example, n is not a number, it is a mutable variable, and its
value changes.

when n is an instance implementing __imul__ the natural analogue is
that the internal state of the instance changes.

either i have misundertstood you, or you have misunderstood __imul__,
or you are treating = as equality, or maybe you are thinking of a pure
language that creates new instances?  python is impure.

anyway, my original request is moot.  i was assuming that this was a
"capricious" restriction.  in fact it's related to what i thought were
operators actually being assignments, and so no change is possible
(until python 4.0 when guido will finally see the light and move to s-
expressions, at which point everyone will stop using the language ;o)


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