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.
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Modifying classes in this fashion is also possible, though the benefits are not as immediately apparent. Almost certainly, anything which could be done with class decorators could be done using metaclasses, but using metaclasses is sufficiently obscure that there is some attraction to having an easier way to make simple modifications to classes. For Python 2.4, only function/method decorators are being added.
Note that greet_bob(say_hello) refers to two functions, but in different ways: greet_bob() and say_hello. The say_hello function is named without parentheses. This means that only a reference to the function is passed. The function is not executed. The greet_bob() function, on the other hand, is written with parentheses, so it will be called as usual.
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In this snippet we have a class hierarchy with a SimpleMessage at the top. The SimpleMessage class has a constructor that accepts a content string as well as two methods: GetMessage; and, PrintMessage. Down the hierarchy we have three subclasses: ExcitedMessage; QuizzicalMessage; and, ExcitedAndQuizzicalMessage. The only difference in the subclasses is that they override the SimpleMessage constructor to change the content string and append various exclamations. When we instantiate various message objects, using the same content string, and iterate over them, each has their own unique output.
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members. Surrealist artworks feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact. Leader André Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement.
Just take a look at the code again. In the if/else clause we are returning greet and welcome, not greet() and welcome(). Why is that? It’s because when you put a pair of parentheses after it, the function gets executed; whereas if you don’t put parenthesis after it, then it can be passed around and can be assigned to other variables without executing it. Did you get it? Let me explain it in a little bit more detail. When we write a = hi(), hi() gets executed and because the name is yasoob by default, the function greet is returned. If we change the statement to a = hi(name = "ali") then the welcome function will be returned. We can also do print hi()() which outputs now you are in the greet() function.
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In Python 2.4a3 (to be released this Thursday), everything remains as currently in CVS. For 2.4b1, I will consider a change of @ to some other single character, even though I think that @ has the advantage of being the same character used by a similar feature in Java. It's been argued that it's not quite the same, since @ in Java is used for attributes that don't change semantics. But Python's dynamic nature makes that its syntactic elements never mean quite the same thing as similar constructs in other languages, and there is definitely significant overlap. Regarding the impact on 3rd party tools: IPython's author doesn't think there's going to be much impact; Leo's author has said that Leo will survive (although it will cause him and his users some transitional pain). I actually expect that picking a character that's already used elsewhere in Python's syntax might be harder for external tools to adapt to, since parsing will have to be more subtle in that case. But I'm frankly undecided, so there's some wiggle room here. I don't want to consider further syntactic alternatives at this point: the buck has to stop at some point, everyone has had their say, and the show must go on.