Agreed to a degree about providing it as code, but it may also be worth mentioning also that zlib itself implements rle , and if there was ever a desire to go "python all the way down" you need an RLE somewhere anyway :)
That said, I'll be pretty happy with anything that replaces an hour of google/coding/testing/(hour later find out I'm an idiot from a random listserv) with 1 minute of googling. Again, my issue isn't that it was difficult to code, but it *was* hard to make the research-y jump from googling for "run length encoding python", where I knew *exactly* what algorithm I wanted, to "itertools.groupby" which appears to be more general purpose and needs a little tweaking. Adjusting the docs/recipes would probably solve that problem.
-- To me this is roughly on the same level as googling for 'binary search python' and not having bisect show up.
However, the fact that `itertools.groupby` doesn't group over elements that are not contiguous is a bit surprising to me coming from SQL/pandas/R land (that is probably a large part of my disconnect here). This is actually explicitly called out in the current docs, but I wonder how many people search for one thing and find the other:
I googled for RLE and the solution was actually groupby, but probably a lot of other people want a SQL group-by accidentally got an RLE and have to work around that... Then again, I don't know if you all can easily change names of functions at this point.