After 2.4a2 was released, in response to community reaction, Guido stated that he'd re-examine a community proposal, if the community could come up with a community consensus, a decent proposal, and an implementation. After an amazing number of posts, collecting a vast number of alternatives in the Python wiki , a community consensus emerged (below). Guido subsequently rejected  this alternate form, but added:
The discussion continued on and off on python-dev from February 2002 through July 2004. Hundreds and hundreds of posts were made, with people proposing many possible syntax variations. Guido took a list of proposals to EuroPython 2004 , where a discussion took place. Subsequent to this, he decided that we'd have the Java-style  @decorator syntax, and this appeared for the first time in 2.4a2. Barry Warsaw named this the 'pie-decorator' syntax, in honor of the Pie-thon Parrot shootout which occurred around the same time as the decorator syntax, and because the @ looks a little like a pie. Guido outlined his case  on Python-dev, including this piece  on some of the (many) rejected forms.
There have been a number of objections raised to this location -- the primary one is that it's the first real Python case where a line of code has an effect on a following line. The syntax available in 2.4a3 requires one decorator per line (in a2, multiple decorators could be specified on the same line), and the final decision for 2.4 final stayed one decorator per line.
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