Re: [ANNOUNCE]: Draft Proposal for New Python Syntax

Dan Stromberg - OAC-DCS (
Wed, 25 May 1994 10:38:55 -0700

On scope of control-flow constructs... Especially use of indentation
VS. bracketed notation...

I've not been following the discussion much; if this repeats prior
notions, minor apologies.

Two points:

1) I suspect most of the people who want style A, want it so they
won't have to deal with the problems of style B. If we have both (one
or the other, at the writer's option), we all will end up dealing with
the problems of both. An individual's code could written in a
preferred style, but python is about reuse!

2) There is something to be said for requiring white space -and-
requiring braces, -and- requiring that they match. There's Very
little opportunity for overlooking something subtle, that way. In
fact, I'm surprised I've not yet heard of a language that does this.
I doubt it's viable for python, given all the braceless code out
there, but I find the thought of interest. Then again, there're
always the scripts for making syntax changes...

Or there could be optional braces, that must always match whitespace
if present (whitespace getting confusing? Throw in some braces to
clear it up - and shade like the optionally named bracketing in PL/I,
where if the braces weren't matching as expected, you could throw in
some names to clear it up Quickly)

In message <>you write:
>In <> Tim Peters <> writes:
>>Seriously #2:
>[ somebody else wrote this, not tim ]
>>> The resulting syntax for grouping statements comes very close to
>>> C or C++.
>>Why not propose rules EXACTLY like C's? At least that would have a
>>built-in constituency. The proposal now is akin to a mix between C and
>>Perl rules, and if people like the syntax in one of those languages, why
>>not copy it verbatim?
>Better yet: why not just STOP USING PYTHON and go USE C or C++??
>Those of you who were on the mailing list might remember my reaction
>to all the "lambda" stuff - this is much worse. I just learned
>Python, and I think it is great! We have a great figure of speech
>where I come from (don't let the Dutch address fool you):
> "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"
>If I see anywhere "require MASSIVE changes to Python" I don't
>have to read any further. No.
> J "somewhat resistant to change even if I do learn one
> new language every two years" T
>PS A Python milestone (or am I not the first): Python has now
>been used as a tool in quick on-line analysis of a nuclear physics
>experiment. I can whip off some Postscript plots made with a
>combination Python/FORTRAN/CERN HBOOK/PAW system if anybody is

Dan Stromberg - OAC/DCS