... I'm also interested in discussing whether a patch like this is appropriate while we're in beta. On the one hand I would say it is, because the feature is disabled by default. On the other hand there are changes (albeit mainly cosmetic ones) in a large number of places.
Not so many -- it's mostly in fileobject.c, which perhaps should not have surprised me <wink>.
A prime reason we do "feature freeze" is to give adequate mindshare to the stuff already in the beta. I just spent 10 hours on a Sunday "dealing with" bugs and patches and 2.2 issues, including over an hour reviewing this patch. The 2.2 work I *wanted* to get out of the way this weekend never got started, and it's increasingly doubtful it ever will. If the patch were a no-brainer with no controversial aspects, and 2.2 were basically done in all other respects, it would be easy to say "sure"; as is, there are threading issues and (lack of) error-detection issues and (lack of) doc issues and user interface issues ... and this sure looks like something that *should* have had a PEP and wide community debate (not just in the Mac community).
I like the idea of the patch. but the timing is really bad (esp. with Guido on leave this month, American holidays coming up fast, and a backlog of bug reports and patches growing in the wrong <wink> direction).
OTOH, since it's off by default, "no harm done" is an arguable position. If it does go in, and you turn it on for the Mac, and we decide we need something different in 2.3, will we be doomed to play the "sorry, can't change it -- backward compatibility!" game? If so, I'm -1 on it for 2.2. If it's treated as purely experimental and subject to arbitrary potentially incompatible change, then -0 (the "-" still for mindshare-dilution reasons alone).