There is general agreement that syntactic support is desirable to the current state of affairs. Guido mentioned syntactic support for decorators [2] in his DevDay keynote presentation at the 10th Python Conference [3], though he later said [5] it was only one of several extensions he proposed there "semi-jokingly". Michael Hudson raised the topic [4] on python-dev shortly after the conference, attributing the initial bracketed syntax to an earlier proposal on comp.lang.python by Gareth McCaughan [6].
None of these alternatives gained much traction. The alternatives which involve square brackets only serve to make it obvious that the decorator construct is not a list. They do nothing to make parsing any easier. The '<...>' alternative presents parsing problems because '<' and '>' already parse as un-paired. They present a further parsing ambiguity because a right angle bracket might be a greater than symbol instead of a closer for the decorators.

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When we instantiate a SimpleMessage and then pass it to the various decorators, we now get new behavior. Moreover, since both the concrete component and the concrete decorators all implement / descend from IMessage, they are interchangeable as far as the program is concerned, meaning that we can loop over them together. Further, rather than having to create a new ExcitedAndQuizzicalMessageDecorator class, we were able to achieve the same effect by double wrapping a SimpleMessage object (first in an ExcitedMessageDecorator and then in a QuizzicalMessageDecorator). Finally, note that despite having been passed into various decorators, our simpleMsg object remains unchanged at the end of the program.
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