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[Python-Dev] Naming comprehension syntax [was Re: Informal educator feedback on PEP 572 ...]


On Mon, 9 Jul 2018 at 12:05 Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:

> I think this is worth a try.
>

How far do we want to go with this? Update the docs? Update the grammar
and/or code? I think the former is probably good enough for now to see if
it takes, and if it does then we can talk about updating code to not
confuse people.


>
> On Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 12:04 PM Chris Barker - NOAA Federal <
> chris.barker at noaa.gov> wrote:
>
>> TL;DR-
>>
>> +1 on advocating the term ?generator comprehension? as a synonym for
>> ?generator expression? in future documentation and instructional
>> materials.
>>
>> The long version:
>>
>> If we were starting from scratch, maybe it would makes sense to use ?
>> builder? or something else, rather than comprehension. But we?re  not
>> starting from scratch.
>>
>> And ?list comprehension? has become a pretty universal (or at least
>> common) term in the python world. So we really can?t expect to re-name
>> that.
>>
>> And despite the term having its roots in an esoteric corner of
>> mathematics, I?ve never seen anyone confused by it ? it?s just a new
>> word for a new thing to most folks.
>>
>> Which is actually why ?generator expression? is a bit confusing ? it
>> seems to have more in common with comprehensions than with generators
>>
>> (As in: the things functions with a yield in them produce)
>>
>> In fact, the term ?generator? is a bit confusing itself ? due to it
>> being a common English word, it seems to refer to the generic idea of
>> ?a thing that generates values on the fly?, which, of course it can be
>> in Python. But it actually is a specific type. And you can make a
>> ?thing that generates values in the fly? with a regular class that
>> follows the iterator protocol.
>>
>> So re-using the word in ?generator expression? just adds a bit to the
>> confusion. (Even though it?s technically correct, it does ?make? an
>> actual generator object, doesn?t it? (On a phone, so I can?t check)
>> but that?s kind of an implementation detail.
>>
>> Also: if you google: ?python list comprehension? you get a LOT of hits
>> to tutorials, etc.
>>
>> So it is WAY too late to change that name.
>>
>> When you google ?python generator expression? the top hit is the
>> python docs, and the next few are about comparing generator
>> expressions and list comprehensions.
>>
>> So I think we could start a new naming scheme for those.
>>
>>  ?cause then we?d get lost of questions about the difference between
>> generator expressions and generator comprehensions ;-)
>>
>>
>> -CHB
>>
>
>
> --
> --Guido van Rossum (python.org/~guido)
>
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