On Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 10:51 AM, Aldcroft, Thomas <aldcroft@head.cfa.harvard.edu> wrote:
BTW -- maybe we should keep the pathological use-case in mind: really short strings. I think we are all thinking in terms of longer strings, maybe a name field, where you might assign 32 bytes or so -- then someone has an accented character in their name, and then ge30 or 31 characters -- no big deal.

I wouldn't call it a pathological use case, it doesn't seem so uncommon to have large datasets of short strings. 

It's pathological for using a variable-length encoding.
I personally deal with a database of hundreds of billions of 2 to 5 character ASCII strings.  This has been a significant blocker to Python 3 adoption in my world.

I agree -- it is a VERY common case for scientific data sets. But a one-byte-per-char encoding would handle it nicely, or UCS-4 if you want Unicode. The wasted space is not that big a deal with short strings...

BTW, for those new to the list or with a short memory, this topic has been discussed fairly extensively at least 3 times before.  Hopefully the *fourth* time will be the charm!

yes, let's hope so!

The big difference now is that Julian seems to be committed to actually making it happen!

Thanks Julian!

Which brings up a good point -- if you need us to stop the damn bike-shedding so you can get it done -- say so.

I have strong opinions, but would still rather see any of the ideas on the table implemented than nothing.



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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