Why is it valid to assign to an empty list but not to an empty tuple?

The comment by @user2357112 that this seems to be coincidence appears to be correct. The relevant part of the Python source code is in Python/ast.c:

switch (e->kind) {
    # several cases snipped
    case List_kind:
        e->v.List.ctx = ctx;
        s = e->v.List.elts;
    case Tuple_kind:
        if (asdl_seq_LEN(e->v.Tuple.elts))  {
            e->v.Tuple.ctx = ctx;
            s = e->v.Tuple.elts;
        else {
            expr_name = "()";
    # several more cases snipped
/* Check for error string set by switch */
if (expr_name) {
    char buf[300];
    PyOS_snprintf(buf, sizeof(buf),
                  "can't %s %s",
                  ctx == Store ? "assign to" : "delete",
    return ast_error(c, n, buf);

tuples have an explicit check that the length is not zero and raise an error when it is. lists do not have any such check, so there’s no exception raised.

I don’t see any particular reason for allowing assignment to an empty list when it is an error to assign to an empty tuple, but perhaps there’s some special case that I’m not considering. I’d suggest that this is probably a (trivial) bug and that the behaviors should be the same for both types.

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