Indentation and line breaks, Python Programming


Every programming language has to have  some method for indicating grouping of operations. Here is how you execute an if-then-else structure in Java:


if (s == 1){

s = s + 1;

a = a - 10;

} else {

s = s + 10;

a = a + 10;



The braces  specify  what  statements are executed in the  if case.  It is suppose good  method  to indent your  code to agree  with  the brace structure, but it is not needed. In addition, the semi colons are used  to show the end of a instruction, independent of the position of the line divided in the file. So, the following code segment has the same meaning as the previous one, although it is much typical to read  and understand.


if (s == 1){

s = s

+ 1;      a = a - 10;

} else {

 a = a + 10;



In Python, on the  other  hand, there  are no braces  for grouping or semicolons for ending. Indentation shows grouping and line breaks  indicate statement ending. So, in Python, we would give the previous example as


if s == 1:

s = s + 1

a = a - 10


s = s + 10

a = a + 10


There is no way to put  more  than  one statement on a one line.3  If you have  a instruction that  is too long for a line, you can break it with a backslash:


aReallyLongVariableNameThatMakesMyLinesLong = \

aReallyLongVariableNameThatMakesMyLinesLong + 1


It is easy for Java programmers to get confused about  colons and semi colons in Python. Here is the method:  (1) Python does  not use semi-colons; (2) Colons  are used  to start  an indented part, so they  seems on the ?rst  line of a method definition, when  starting  for loop or while loop,  and after the situation in an if, elif, or else.

Is one method better  than  the other?  No.  It is purely a function of taste.  The Python function is pretty unusual. But if you are using Python, you have to remember that indentation and line breaks are significant.


Posted Date: 8/9/2012 6:58:32 AM | Location : United States

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