Keyword same in right hand side of assignments (rev)

R. David Murray rdmurray at
Tue Mar 17 17:12:54 CET 2009

hwpuschm at wrote:
> What I would like is to extend the augmented assignment
> and make it easy to understand for naive readers.

Good luck. :)

> I hope the following literary definition 
> is consistent enough to convey the correct meaning:
>   "whenever it is possible, modify the target IN PLACE 
>   according to the right hand side expression.
>   If it is not possible to do such a thing,
>   substitute the target object with 
>   an object that is build according to the right hand side expression
>   and subsequently deleted"

I don't think that last part is expressing your intent.  If you delete
the object you've constructed you've got nothing left for the target to
point to.  From what you say later I think you are confusing identifiers
with objects in this text.

> The following examples should be correct:
>   "xx = same + 5"  synonymous with  "xx += 5" 
>   "value =  2*same + 5"  synonymous with  "value =*2; value +=5" 
>   "switch = 1 - same"  synonymous with  "switch *-1; switch +=1" 
>   "lst = same + [5,6]"  synonymous with  "lst += [5,6]"
>   "lst[2] = 1/same" synonymous with  "lst[2] **=-1"

Your revised intent breaks my expectations of how python's assignment
operator works.  At least with += and kin I'm alerted to the fact that
something weird is going on by the fact that the assignment operator
is different.

> The following examples would be extensions:
>   "lst = [5,6] + same" synonymous with
>       "lst.reverse(); lst.extend([6,5]); lst.reverse()"
>   "inmutable = same*(same+1)"  synonymous with
>       "unused=inmutable+1; inmutable*=unused; del unused"
> There seems to be no really simple expression for the above extensions,
> and I take that as an indication
> that the proposed feature could be quite useful.

For the first one, we have:

    lst[:0] = [5, 6]

And unless I'm misunderstanding you, the second one is trivially
expressed as:

    immutable = immutable*(immutable+1)

I'm afraid I'm -1 on this proposal even without the issue of the keyword.

R. David Murray 

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