The dangers of eval and exec are obvious and well known to advanced users, but the availability as built-in functions makes it too tempting for beginners or even medium-level programmers. You can see questions about these function pretty often in stackoverflow (roughly once a day
, though sometimes the uses are legitimate).
Maybe we could start a ten-year process of deprecating the use of `builtins.eval` (in the docs, and then with warnings)? `builtins.eval` will be a wrapper to the real evaluation function, moved to `unsafe.eval` or something obvious like that, so all you need to do to port your code is to add `from unsafe import unsafe_eval as eval, unsafe_exec as exec` at the top of the file; it will be a nice warning to the reader.
The fact that it is a wrapper will slightly slow it down and make the stack traces noisier - both are good things, IMO.
Also, it is unfortunate that `ast.literal_eval` is less accessible than `builtins.eval`. Giving it an alias in builtins might make it easier for programmers (and less scary - "ast" might sound like I need a PhD to use it).
What do you think?