[DOC-SIG] [STRING-SIG] What does this mean for Python?

Paul Prescod papresco@technologist.com
Wed, 11 Mar 1998 11:18:16 -0500

On the Python marketing side, we could actually use this as an
opportunity to get some publicity (if that interests the powers that
be). Media loves a horse race and if we promote comparisons with Perl,
people will at least know that Perl isn't the only language in the
class. "We have nothing to lose but our obscurity."

Andrew Kuchling wrote:
>         1) The String-SIG's been pretty dead lately; I've been posting
> the odd bugfix patch for the PCRE code, and that's about it.  Can we
> please start considering a Unicode string type?  This would kill two
> birds with one stone, since Unicode is important both for XML and for
> Mark Hammond's PythonWin.

And also more generally for being the best scripting language in the
world :) (and not just in English speaking countries).
>         3) What about XML support for CPython?  I'd like to be able to
> do XML processing without requiring external programs such as SP or
> nsgmls.  Writing an XML DTD parser, and after that a well-formedness
> verifier, has therefore been on my project list for a bit. I'll push
> it up in importance.  Once we can parse DTDs, we could write an XML
> parser that created a tree (or grove, or whatever the precise
> terminology is) for a document.  (A module that read SP's output would
> still be useful, of course.)

I've written that latter (nsgmls output) module. I haven't done a lot of
Python work since the Rise of XML, so I have nothing XML specific. 

I would say that instead of writing an XML parser in Python (probably
not fast enough), or writing one from scratch in C (a bunch of needless
work), we should start with James Clark's XMLTok, which is written in

The "tree" you describe should probably be a W3C DOM[1]. That spec.
isn't totally solid yet, but it is usually better to conform to a
shifting standard than a completely proprietary API of your own
designing. There should also be an event interface based on SAX[2].
[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-DOM/
[2] http://www.microstar.com/XML/SAX/

I think that JPython gets most of this for "free" with a very little bit
of glue. All I need to do is document how to use the glue.

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

Can we afford to feed that army, 
 while so many children are naked and hungry?
Can we afford to remain passive, 
 while that soldier-army is growing so massive?
  - "Gabby" Barbadian Calpysonian in "Boots"

DOC-SIG  - SIG for the Python Documentation Project

send messages to: doc-sig@python.org
administrivia to: doc-sig-request@python.org