Hmmm. I hadn't thought of that before, but I've certainly wanted to tell the path traverser whether to use attribute, index, or key access on several occasions (using 'items' as a dictionary key bites me regularly).
I can imagine the pain. Explicit is better than implicit.
This suggests the following prefixes:
'key:' -- use item access with the prefixed string. 'index:' -- use item access with the prefixed integer. 'attr:' -- use attribute access with the prefixed string.
There's an alternative, longer syntax that would be more consistent with the adapter concept from Zope 3. Given that prefixes are meant to be namespaces, 'key', 'index', and 'attr' should be elements of a namespace (perhaps 'by' or 'as' to keep it reasonably short) rather than prefixes themselves. In this case, we would have the path expression "options/a_mapping/by:key/items/by:index/0".
*ugh*. Too long. You'd keep adding thousands of elements to your TALES expression...
Note that this form has the advantage of allowing "a_list/by:index/?i".
Why wouldn't that be possible with "a_list/index:?i"?
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