[DOC-SIG] XML Extension Module?

Paul Prescod papresco@technologist.com
Fri, 19 Dec 1997 10:23:23 -0500

Sean Mc Grath wrote:
> I would like to see basic XML support provided as a portable C extension module.
> I believe XML will take off and that the XML support in Python
> will be sufficently useful to go into the standard
> distribution.

Your idea is good. It would be a real coup for Python to be the first
scripting language with robust, fast XML support in the standard

But I have two concerns:

First, Timing. We're on the verge of releasing Python 1.5. Can we get
something in there? If not, how long do we have to wait for an

I'm also not sure about whether the idea will be popular on Unix
platforms. Are Python extensions usually linked statically or
dynamically on those platforms? 

In other words, if I'm on a standard site with Python installed, and I
use XML in one out of 99 scripts, do the other 99 scripts usually take
the binary size hit of having the extension module linked in? I know
that theoretically dynamic linking is possible, but I'm not sure about
the amount this feature is actually used in the community. 

I am very interested in feedback on that score. The nice thing about
using Python code modules is that you only incur the hit when you use
them. And presumably the same holds for binary extensions on Windows.

Just for reference, James' module is about 100K binary on Windows, does
full well formedness checking and handles Unicode. Without well
formedness checking, it seems to be about 80K.

Paul Prescod -- http://itrc.uwaterloo.ca/~papresco

Art is always at peril in universities, where there are so many people, 
young and old, who love art less than argument, and dote upon a text 
that provides the nutritious pemmican on which scholars love to chew. 
				-- Robertson Davies in "The Cunning Man"

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