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September 2, 2006

and switching programming languages

Filed under: Java,Javascript,Jython,PHP,Programming,Python — see @ 11:18 pm

In Reqiem for an operator Barry Warsaw farewells the <> operator which will be removed in Python 3000. I have no real opinion on the topic itself although I think <> and != are one of the few not TOOWTDI things in Python and so a reasonable decision to remove one. But the followoing question in the same blog entry got me thinking:
“How often do you type semicolons at the end of your Python statements? How often do you type colons at the end of your C conditionals? Yeah, me neither.”

Actually I do tend to forget colons in Python after programming a while in Javascript or PHP, and I do forget using braces in e.g. “if” clauses in Javascript or PHP or Java after programming in Python for a while. Actually I forget to use a lot of things in other languages that are not needed in Python like () {} ; etc. What really made me nervous was building a simple JSP form this week where I had to use Java and I almost got angry about all the stuff I had to type which would have not been necessary if it would have been a Python or even Jython form. All the declarating, casting, complicated and verbose looping etc was simply a nervekiller.

So I guess getting rid of <> in Python in favor of != makes language hopping at least a bit easier.

About the only thing I sometimes wish for Python would be the removal of mandatory colons at the end of if, for, class, def etc. I guess this would make parsing of Python sourcecode impossible or at least “indeterminable” (is that an english word?). But the colon is one of the few places where a special character makes the code not more readable but a bit convoluted. Not a big problem as the parser complains about missing colons (which I see frequently ;) .

BTW, this post is somehow related. It makes me like the language even more as there still seems to be space for a bit of fun.

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