allow line break at operators

Roy Smith roy at
Mon Aug 15 15:41:33 CEST 2011

In article <mailman.2233.1313179799.1164.python-list at>,
 Chris Angelico <rosuav at> wrote:

> Python uses the + and - symbols to mean addition
> and subtraction for good reason. Let's not alienate the mathematical
> mind by violating this rule.

Computer programming languages follow math conventions only in the most 
vague ways.  For example, standard math usage dictates that addition is 
commutative.  While this is true for adding integers, it's certainly not 
true for adding strings (in any language which supports string addition).

Where to draw the line between math and programming languages is not an 
easy question.

> It would be far safer to go the other way
> and demand parentheses on everything.

Demand, no, but sometimes it's a good idea.  I've been writing computer 
programs for close to 40 years, and I still have no clue what most of 
the order of operations is.  It's just not worth investing the brain 
cells to remember such trivia (especially since the details change from 
language to language).  Beyond remembering the (apparently) universal 
rule that {*, /} bind tighter than {+, -}, I pretty much just punt on 
everything else and put in extra parens everywhere.

It's not the most efficient way to write code, and probably doesn't even 
result in the prettiest code.  But it sure does eliminate those 
face-palm moments at the end of a long debugging session when you 
realize that somebody got it wrong.

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