allow line break at operators

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Fri Aug 12 09:20:04 CEST 2011

On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 7:34 AM, Seebs <usenet-nospam at> wrote:
> If Python with braces wouldn't be Python at all, why on earth does the
> language even exist?

Every language has its philosophy. Python, as conceived by Guido van
Rossum, is a language which (guys, correct me where I'm wrong

* Eschews unnecessary syntactic salt
* Has "batteries included"
* Has a clean and readable syntax

To achieve this, Python:

* Uses indentation and other whitespace as structural elements (rather
than semicolons, braces, etc)
* Has a large standard library and an enormous PyPI collection
* Uses keywords (and, or, not, if/else) rather than symbols (&, |, !,
?:) for common tasks

Etcetera. These are the philosophical decisions made by GvR and the
Python community, and these define Python's syntax. If you go against
these, you could make something that compiles down to Python's byte
code; in fact, I'd say you could make something that produces a .pyc
file and then hands it to the regular Python interpreter for
execution. Is it Python? No, no more than NetREXX is Java just because
it can make a .class file. It's a different language.

Pike is very similar to Python in underlying structure. You can pass
lists and dictionaries (called arrays and mappings) around as
first-class objects, you can reference objects in multiple places, you
can work with huge integers comfortably. But they're different in
philosophy. Pike's purpose is primarily zero-downtime servers; I can
(and do on a daily basis) update parts of the code of a running
program, without disconnecting clients. Python doesn't do this, and to
make Python do this would violate a lot of its simplicities and
underlying referencings. It can be done without modifying the
interpreter, but it's never been designed in. If you want that
feature, you go to Pike; if you want Python's syntax, you go to

I hope I make myself clear, Josephine?


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