It has been a while since I posted a copy of PEP 1 to the mailing
lists and newsgroups. I've recently done some updating of a few
sections, so in the interest of gaining wider community participation
in the Python development process, I'm posting the latest revision of
PEP 1 here. A version of the PEP is always available on-line at
-------------------- snip snip --------------------
Title: PEP Purpose and Guidelines
Version: $Revision: 1.36 $
Last-Modified: $Date: 2002/07/29 18:34:59 $
Author: Barry A. Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton
Post-History: 21-Mar-2001, 29-Jul-2002
What is a PEP?
PEP stands for Python Enhancement Proposal. A PEP is a design
document providing information to the Python community, or
describing a new feature for Python. The PEP should provide a
concise technical specification of the feature and a rationale for
We intend PEPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing new
features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for
documenting the design decisions that have gone into Python. The
PEP author is responsible for building consensus within the
community and documenting dissenting opinions.
Because the PEPs are maintained as plain text files under CVS
control, their revision history is the historical record of the
Kinds of PEPs
There are two kinds of PEPs. A standards track PEP describes a
new feature or implementation for Python. An informational PEP
describes a Python design issue, or provides general guidelines or
information to the Python community, but does not propose a new
feature. Informational PEPs do not necessarily represent a Python
community consensus or recommendation, so users and implementors
are free to ignore informational PEPs or follow their advice.
PEP Work Flow
The PEP editor, Barry Warsaw <peps(a)python.org>, assigns numbers
for each PEP and changes its status.
The PEP process begins with a new idea for Python. It is highly
recommended that a single PEP contain a single key proposal or new
idea. The more focussed the PEP, the more successfully it tends
to be. The PEP editor reserves the right to reject PEP proposals
if they appear too unfocussed or too broad. If in doubt, split
your PEP into several well-focussed ones.
Each PEP must have a champion -- someone who writes the PEP using
the style and format described below, shepherds the discussions in
the appropriate forums, and attempts to build community consensus
around the idea. The PEP champion (a.k.a. Author) should first
attempt to ascertain whether the idea is PEP-able. Small
enhancements or patches often don't need a PEP and can be injected
into the Python development work flow with a patch submission to
the SourceForge patch manager or feature request tracker.
The PEP champion then emails the PEP editor <peps(a)python.org> with
a proposed title and a rough, but fleshed out, draft of the PEP.
This draft must be written in PEP style as described below.
If the PEP editor approves, he will assign the PEP a number, label
it as standards track or informational, give it status 'draft',
and create and check-in the initial draft of the PEP. The PEP
editor will not unreasonably deny a PEP. Reasons for denying PEP
status include duplication of effort, being technically unsound,
not providing proper motivation or addressing backwards
compatibility, or not in keeping with the Python philosophy. The
BDFL (Benevolent Dictator for Life, Guido van Rossum) can be
consulted during the approval phase, and is the final arbitrator
of the draft's PEP-ability.
If a pre-PEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-PEP
to the comp.lang.python newsgroup (a.k.a. python-list(a)python.org
mailing list) to help flesh it out, gain feedback and consensus
from the community at large, and improve the PEP for
The author of the PEP is then responsible for posting the PEP to
the community forums, and marshaling community support for it. As
updates are necessary, the PEP author can check in new versions if
they have CVS commit permissions, or can email new PEP versions to
the PEP editor for committing.
Standards track PEPs consists of two parts, a design document and
a reference implementation. The PEP should be reviewed and
accepted before a reference implementation is begun, unless a
reference implementation will aid people in studying the PEP.
Standards Track PEPs must include an implementation - in the form
of code, patch, or URL to same - before it can be considered
PEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a
PEP before submitting it for review. A PEP that has not been
discussed on python-list(a)python.org and/or python-dev(a)python.org
will not be accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended
discussions on public mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies
to keep the discussions efficient include, setting up a separate
SIG mailing list for the topic, having the PEP author accept
private comments in the early design phases, etc. PEP authors
should use their discretion here.
Once the authors have completed a PEP, they must inform the PEP
editor that it is ready for review. PEPs are reviewed by the BDFL
and his chosen consultants, who may accept or reject a PEP or send
it back to the author(s) for revision.
Once a PEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be
completed. When the reference implementation is complete and
accepted by the BDFL, the status will be changed to `Final.'
A PEP can also be assigned status `Deferred.' The PEP author or
editor can assign the PEP this status when no progress is being
made on the PEP. Once a PEP is deferred, the PEP editor can
re-assign it to draft status.
A PEP can also be `Rejected'. Perhaps after all is said and done
it was not a good idea. It is still important to have a record of
PEPs can also be replaced by a different PEP, rendering the
original obsolete. This is intended for Informational PEPs, where
version 2 of an API can replace version 1.
PEP work flow is as follows:
Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
Some informational PEPs may also have a status of `Active' if they
are never meant to be completed. E.g. PEP 1.
What belongs in a successful PEP?
Each PEP should have the following parts:
1. Preamble -- RFC822 style headers containing meta-data about the
PEP, including the PEP number, a short descriptive title
(limited to a maximum of 44 characters), the names, and
optionally the contact info for each author, etc.
2. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical
issue being addressed.
3. Copyright/public domain -- Each PEP must either be explicitly
labelled as placed in the public domain (see this PEP as an
example) or licensed under the Open Publication License.
4. Specification -- The technical specification should describe
the syntax and semantics of any new language feature. The
specification should be detailed enough to allow competing,
interoperable implementations for any of the current Python
platforms (CPython, JPython, Python .NET).
5. Motivation -- The motivation is critical for PEPs that want to
change the Python language. It should clearly explain why the
existing language specification is inadequate to address the
problem that the PEP solves. PEP submissions without
sufficient motivation may be rejected outright.
6. Rationale -- The rationale fleshes out the specification by
describing what motivated the design and why particular design
decisions were made. It should describe alternate designs that
were considered and related work, e.g. how the feature is
supported in other languages.
The rationale should provide evidence of consensus within the
community and discuss important objections or concerns raised
7. Backwards Compatibility -- All PEPs that introduce backwards
incompatibilities must include a section describing these
incompatibilities and their severity. The PEP must explain how
the author proposes to deal with these incompatibilities. PEP
submissions without a sufficient backwards compatibility
treatise may be rejected outright.
8. Reference Implementation -- The reference implementation must
be completed before any PEP is given status 'Final,' but it
need not be completed before the PEP is accepted. It is better
to finish the specification and rationale first and reach
consensus on it before writing code.
The final implementation must include test code and
documentation appropriate for either the Python language
reference or the standard library reference.
PEPs are written in plain ASCII text, and should adhere to a
rigid style. There is a Python script that parses this style and
converts the plain text PEP to HTML for viewing on the web.
PEP 9 contains a boilerplate template you can use to get
started writing your PEP.
Each PEP must begin with an RFC822 style header preamble. The
headers must appear in the following order. Headers marked with
`*' are optional and are described below. All other headers are
PEP: <pep number>
Title: <pep title>
Version: <cvs version string>
Last-Modified: <cvs date string>
Author: <list of authors' real names and optionally, email addrs>
* Discussions-To: <email address>
Status: <Draft | Active | Accepted | Deferred | Final | Replaced>
Type: <Informational | Standards Track>
* Requires: <pep numbers>
Created: <date created on, in dd-mmm-yyyy format>
* Python-Version: <version number>
Post-History: <dates of postings to python-list and python-dev>
* Replaces: <pep number>
* Replaced-By: <pep number>
The Author: header lists the names and optionally, the email
addresses of all the authors/owners of the PEP. The format of the
author entry should be
address(a)dom.ain (Random J. User)
if the email address is included, and just
Random J. User
if the address is not given. If there are multiple authors, each
should be on a separate line following RFC 822 continuation line
conventions. Note that personal email addresses in PEPs will be
obscured as a defense against spam harvesters.
Standards track PEPs must have a Python-Version: header which
indicates the version of Python that the feature will be released
with. Informational PEPs do not need a Python-Version: header.
While a PEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial
Draft phase), a Discussions-To: header will indicate the mailing
list or URL where the PEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To:
header is necessary if the PEP is being discussed privately with
the author, or on the python-list or python-dev email mailing
lists. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To: header
will not be obscured.
Created: records the date that the PEP was assigned a number,
while Post-History: is used to record the dates of when new
versions of the PEP are posted to python-list and/or python-dev.
Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g. 14-Aug-2001.
PEPs may have a Requires: header, indicating the PEP numbers that
this PEP depends on.
PEPs may also have a Replaced-By: header indicating that a PEP has
been rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the
number of the PEP that replaces the current document. The newer
PEP must have a Replaces: header containing the number of the PEP
that it rendered obsolete.
PEP Formatting Requirements
PEP headings must begin in column zero and the initial letter of
each word must be capitalized as in book titles. Acronyms should
be in all capitals. The body of each section must be indented 4
spaces. Code samples inside body sections should be indented a
further 4 spaces, and other indentation can be used as required to
make the text readable. You must use two blank lines between the
last line of a section's body and the next section heading.
You must adhere to the Emacs convention of adding two spaces at
the end of every sentence. You should fill your paragraphs to
column 70, but under no circumstances should your lines extend
past column 79. If your code samples spill over column 79, you
should rewrite them.
Tab characters must never appear in the document at all. A PEP
should include the standard Emacs stanza included by example at
the bottom of this PEP.
A PEP must contain a Copyright section, and it is strongly
recommended to put the PEP in the public domain.
When referencing an external web page in the body of a PEP, you
should include the title of the page in the text, with a
footnote reference to the URL. Do not include the URL in the body
text of the PEP. E.g.
Refer to the Python Language web site  for more details.
When referring to another PEP, include the PEP number in the body
text, such as "PEP 1". The title may optionally appear. Add a
footnote reference that includes the PEP's title and author. It
may optionally include the explicit URL on a separate line, but
only in the References section. Note that the pep2html.py script
will calculate URLs automatically, e.g.:
Refer to PEP 1  for more information about PEP style
 PEP 1, PEP Purpose and Guidelines, Warsaw, Hylton
If you decide to provide an explicit URL for a PEP, please use
this as the URL template:
PEP numbers in URLs must be padded with zeros from the left, so as
to be exactly 4 characters wide, however PEP numbers in text are
Reporting PEP Bugs, or Submitting PEP Updates
How you report a bug, or submit a PEP update depends on several
factors, such as the maturity of the PEP, the preferences of the
PEP author, and the nature of your comments. For the early draft
stages of the PEP, it's probably best to send your comments and
changes directly to the PEP author. For more mature, or finished
PEPs you may want to submit corrections to the SourceForge bug
manager or better yet, the SourceForge patch manager so that
your changes don't get lost. If the PEP author is a SF developer,
assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise assign it to the PEP
When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first
with the PEP author and/or PEP editor.
PEP authors who are also SF committers, can update the PEPs
themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
Remember to also push the formatted PEP text out to the web by
doing the following:
% python pep2html.py -i NUM
where NUM is the number of the PEP you want to push out. See
% python pep2html.py --help
Transferring PEP Ownership
It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of PEPs to
a new champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original
author as a co-author of the transferred PEP, but that's really up
to the original author. A good reason to transfer ownership is
because the original author no longer has the time or interest in
updating it or following through with the PEP process, or has
fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not
responding to email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is
because you don't agree with the direction of the PEP. We try to
build consensus around a PEP, but if that's not possible, you can
always submit a competing PEP.
If you are interested assuming ownership of a PEP, send a message
asking to take over, addressed to both the original author and the
PEP editor <peps(a)python.org>. If the original author doesn't
respond to email in a timely manner, the PEP editor will make a
unilateral decision (it's not like such decisions can be
References and Footnotes
 This historical record is available by the normal CVS commands
for retrieving older revisions. For those without direct access
to the CVS tree, you can browse the current and past PEP revisions
via the SourceForge web site at
 The script referred to here is pep2html.py, which lives in
the same directory in the CVS tree as the PEPs themselves.
Try "pep2html.py --help" for details.
The URL for viewing PEPs on the web is
 PEP 9, Sample PEP Template
This document has been placed in the public domain.
In Python 2.5 `0or` was accepted by the Python parser. It became an
error in 2.6 because "0o" became recognizing as an incomplete octal
number. `1or` still is accepted.
On other hand, `1if 2else 3` is accepted despites the fact that "2e" can
be recognized as an incomplete floating point number. In this case the
tokenizer pushes "e" back and returns "2".
Shouldn't it do the same with "0o"? It is possible to make `0or` be
parseable again. Python implementation is able to tokenize this example:
$ echo '0or' | ./python -m tokenize
1,0-1,1: NUMBER '0'
1,1-1,3: NAME 'or'
1,3-1,4: OP '['
1,4-1,5: OP ']'
1,5-1,6: NEWLINE '\n'
2,0-2,0: ENDMARKER ''
On other hand, all these examples look weird. There is an assymmetry:
`1or 2` is a valid syntax, but `1 or2` is not. It is hard to recognize
visually the boundary between a number and the following identifier or
keyword, especially if numbers can contain letters ("b", "e", "j", "o",
"x") and underscores, and identifiers can contain digits. On both sides
of the boundary can be letters, digits, and underscores.
I propose to change the Python syntax by adding a requirement that there
should be a whitespace or delimiter between a numeric literal and the
It's finally time to schedule the last releases in Python 2's life. There will be two more releases of Python 2.7: Python 2.7.17 and Python 2.7.18.
Python 2.7.17 release candidate 1 will happen on October 5th followed by the final release on October 19th.
I'm going to time Python 2.7.18 to coincide with PyCon 2020 in April, so attendees can enjoy some collective catharsis. We'll still say January 1st is the official EOL date.
Thanks to Sumana Harihareswara, there's now a FAQ about the Python 2 sunset on the website: https://www.python.org/doc/sunset-python-2/
I'd like to discuss the idea to add a module to parse TOML [toml-lang]
to Python's standard library.
PEP-0518 -- Specifying Minimum Build System Requirements for Python
Projects [pep] suggests to store build system dependencies in
`pyproject.toml`, yet Python itself does not support this format.
Various packaging related projects like pip and pipenv already support
PEP-0518 and vendored one of the existing TOML libraries in order to
read `pyproject.toml` files.
Besides that, TOML seems a better alternative to .cfg/.ini, .json --
both of which are already supported by Python's standard lib and
parsing/dumping TOML properly is tricky enough to solve it properly
There are a couple of TOML implementations out there [toml, pytoml,
tomlkit] and one would have to find out which one to prefer and migrate
into the stdlib.
If the result of this discussion is leaning towards adding TOML, I'd
volunteer to do it. This includes: coordinating with the maintainer of
the chosen library, writing the PEP (hopefully with some help) and
maintain the module for at least two years.
Dr. Bastian Venthur http://venthur.de
Debian Developer venthur at debian org
Recently, Brett updated the developer log in the devguide
(https://devguide.python.org/developers/) to fetch the names of each core
developer and the date they were given commit privileges from the private
I think it would also be quite useful to include GitHub usernames on that list.
Currently, the only list that contributors can find the GitHub usernames for
each core developer is through the committers list on bpo. Since we will be
moving away from bpo (PEP 581), we should have a comprehensive list that is
separate from that platform.
The motivation behind creating a a new topic for this issue was Brett's
response to my comment in the PR that updated the devguide
Essentially, if no core developers have an issue with having their GitHub
username posted on the devguide, we can move forward with adding it.
Another related but more long term project is adding the GitHub usernames
to the experts index (https://devguide.python.org/experts/). This is more
involved because the bpo nosy list currently pulls from the experts index,
meaning the nosy list is dependent on the specific formatting used.
To address this, I opened a PR a couple of months ago which would add a .json
file containing the data from the experts index
(https://github.com/python/devguide/pull/517), based on the discussion in the
related issue (https://github.com/python/devguide/issues/507). If any available
core developers are experienced with structuring .json files, I would greatly
appreciate any feedback.
The next step would be converting the nosy list script to use the new .json
file instead of the experts index page, so that we could adjust the page
to also include GitHub usernames. Optimally, the contents in the experts
index would be pulled from the .json file automatically so any changes only
have to be made to a single location.
On behalf of the Python development community, I'm chuffed to announce
the availability of Python 3.5.8rc1.
Python 3.5 is in "security fixes only" mode. This new version only
contains security fixes, not conventional bug fixes, and it is a
You can find Python 3.5.8rc1 here:
I think Python 3.5 may just barely outlive 2.7,
I dislike having to do that, but I had to make a last minute change in
my PEP 587 "Python Initialization Configuration" to allow to modify
the structure in the future without breaking the backward
compatibility. I added a "struct_size" field to PyPreConfig and
PyStatus status = PyConfig_InitPythonConfig(&config);
must now be written:
config.struct_size = sizeof(PyConfig);
PyStatus status = PyConfig_InitPythonConfig(&config);
At the beginning, I used a private "_config_version" field which was
initialized statically by a macro. But it was decided to replace
macros with functions. I only noticed today that the conversion to
function broke the API/ABI future compatibility.
PyConfig_InitPythonConfig() got uninitialized memory and didn't know
the size of the config variable.
With my change, the function now requires the "struct_size" field to
be set, and so it can support internally different versions of the
Storing the structure size directly in the structure is a common
practice in the Windows API which is a good example of long term ABI
By the way, last week, Pablo Galindo Salgado reported to me a
regression in PyInstaller caused by the implementation of my PEP.
I fixed different issues related to the "Path Configuration" (sys.path
in short), but I also added a lot of tests for this code. Previously,
there was simply no test on the path configuration!
I added a lot of comments to the C code, and I completed the public
Please test the incoming Python 3.8.0rc1 release with your project if
you embed Python into your application. Please test also projects like
PyInstaller, PyOxidizer, etc.
Note: PyInstaller requires my fix for 3.8 (not merged yet):
Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death.
amazing job on getting us back on track over the weekend.
All release blockers and deferred release blockers solved. And there was relatively little additional activity on the branch -- as expected at this point! Thank you for this, it will help get the release candidate out on time.
I'm working on cutting RC1 today
Hopefully all sanity checks, as well as building the source tarball and the binary installers for macOS and Windows will all work out fine and we'll be seeing RC1 out tonight.
RC2 and the date of 3.8.0 gold
If we manage to avoid the need for RC2, we will be able to release 3.8.0 on October 14th. If we need an RC2, that will slip by a week. I hope we won't. Ideally RC1 should be identical codewise to 3.8.0.
To help our chances, please avoid any source-related activity on the 3.8 branch from now until the release of 3.8.0. Yes, that also counts for bug fixes unless they are critical. (Yeah, it might be a bit annoying but nobody wants to be the person who introduced a last minute regression in a major release.)
Note I didn't say I forbid any activity. I have no power over you, actually. More importantly though, I trust your judgement if you assess some bug is bad enough the fix absolutely has to get into 3.8.0. Moreover, I specifically said source-related activity because...
3.8.0 is important. To some users it will be the first and the last release in the 3.8 series they will see.
We need you to focus on the docs now
Are all your changes properly documented?
Did you notice other changes you know of to have insufficient documentation?
Can you help with the "What's New" document?
anxiously configure-&&-makingly y'rs
I just ran an analysis of static variable definitions in CPython code, using clang, on Ubuntu and Windows. The results should be available here:
As I understand it, _Py_IDENTIFIER instances are supposed to hold constant strings that are used in Python - e.g. "__class__", "__dict__" and so on. I noticed that there are numerous duplicates of these - e.g. 8 instances of __name__, 11 instances of __dict__, and so on - each instance is defined as static in its source file and so completely distinct from the others.
I realise the overall amount of memory used by these structures isn't large, but is there any particular benefit to having these multiple copies? The current situation seems a little untidy, at least. What would be the disadvantage of making them extern in the headers and allocating them once in some consts.c module? After all, they seem for the most part to be well-known constant strings that don't need to be encapsulated in any particular C compilation unit.