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PEP 530 -- Asynchronous Comprehensions

PEP: 530
Title: Asynchronous Comprehensions
Author: Yury Selivanov <yury at magic.io>
Discussions-To: < python-dev at python.org >
Status: Final
Type: Standards Track
Created: 03-Sep-2016
Python-Version: 3.6
Post-History: 03-Sep-2016

Abstract

PEP 492 and PEP 525 introduce support for native coroutines and asynchronous generators using async / await syntax. This PEP proposes to add asynchronous versions of list, set, dict comprehensions and generator expressions.

Rationale and Goals

Python has extensive support for synchronous comprehensions, allowing to produce lists, dicts, and sets with a simple and concise syntax. We propose implementing similar syntactic constructions for the asynchronous code.

To illustrate the readability improvement, consider the following example:

result = []
async for i in aiter():
    if i % 2:
        result.append(i)

With the proposed asynchronous comprehensions syntax, the above code becomes as short as:

result = [i async for i in aiter() if i % 2]

The PEP also makes it possible to use the await expressions in all kinds of comprehensions:

result = [await fun() for fun in funcs]

Specification

Asynchronous Comprehensions

We propose to allow using async for inside list, set and dict comprehensions. Pending PEP 525 approval, we can also allow creation of asynchronous generator expressions.

Examples:

  • set comprehension: {i async for i in agen()} ;
  • list comprehension: [i async for i in agen()] ;
  • dict comprehension: {i: i ** 2 async for i in agen()} ;
  • generator expression: (i ** 2 async for i in agen()) .

It is allowed to use async for along with if and for clauses in asynchronous comprehensions and generator expressions:

dataset = {data for line in aiter()
                async for data in line
                if check(data)}

Asynchronous comprehensions are only allowed inside an async def function.

In principle, asynchronous generator expressions are allowed in any context. However, in Python 3.6, due to async and await soft-keyword status, asynchronous generator expressions are only allowed in an async def function. Once async and await become reserved keywords in Python 3.7, this restriction will be removed.

await in Comprehensions

We propose to allow the use of await expressions in both asynchronous and synchronous comprehensions:

result = [await fun() for fun in funcs]
result = {await fun() for fun in funcs}
result = {fun: await fun() for fun in funcs}

result = [await fun() for fun in funcs if await smth]
result = {await fun() for fun in funcs if await smth}
result = {fun: await fun() for fun in funcs if await smth}

result = [await fun() async for fun in funcs]
result = {await fun() async for fun in funcs}
result = {fun: await fun() async for fun in funcs}

result = [await fun() async for fun in funcs if await smth]
result = {await fun() async for fun in funcs if await smth}
result = {fun: await fun() async for fun in funcs if await smth}

This is only valid in async def function body.

Grammar Updates

The proposal requires one change on the grammar level: adding the optional "async" keyword to comp_for :

comp_for: [ASYNC] 'for' exprlist 'in' or_test [comp_iter]

The comprehension AST node will have the new is_async argument.

Backwards Compatibility

The proposal is fully backwards compatible.

Acceptance

PEP 530 was accepted by Guido, September 6, 2016 [1] .

Implementation

The implementation is tracked in issue 28008 [3] . The reference implementation git repository is available at [2] .

Acknowledgments

I thank Guido van Rossum, Victor Stinner and Elvis Pranskevichus for their feedback, code reviews, and discussions around this PEP.

Source: https://github.com/python/peps/blob/master/pep-0530.txt