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[Python-Dev] Symmetric vs asymmetric symbols (was PEP 572: Do we really need a ":" in ":="?)

Ivan Pozdeev via Python-Dev wrote:
> (while "<>" reads "less or greater" which is mathematically not 
> equivalent to that: not everything has a defined ordering relation.

I think this is a silly argument against "<>". If we're going to try
to assign meaning to individual characters in an operator, we could
equally well say that "!" on its own should mean "not", which it
doesn't in Python. Whereas "~" does, kind of, so "not equal" should
be spelled "~=".

 > "<>"
 > draws from BASIC AFAIK which was geared towards regular users who don't
 > deal with advanced mathematics.)

Criticising something because it comes from BASIC smacks of snobbery.
Anyway, it's also used by a number of entirely respectable languages
such as Pascal and SQL.

And what proportion of Python users deal with advanced mathematics?