[I18n-sig] Japanese commentary on the Pre-PEP (2 of 4)

Guido van Rossum guido@digicool.com
Tue, 20 Feb 2001 18:53:14 -0500

> The pre-PEP proposed roughly several month's work in terms of new types,
> extended functions, encoding changes and so forth to be implemented over
> several years. But if we don't agree on the direction of movement
> straight then we aren't going to move anywhere ever!
> The central proposal is that "Python strings" could allow characters
> with ordinal values higher than 255. I absolutely cannot see how this
> could break Python code. It is a loosening of a restriction!

It will probably require changes to C APIs, so it will break
extensions.  If some extensions aren't ported, that will in turn
break 3rd party code.

Also, if you want to see what could break, try running the test suite
with python -U.

> The trick (which may or may not be possible) is working with extension
> modules which have assumptions about the underlying bit-representation
> of strings. The only way out from under that weight is to start
> distinguishing between logical character strings and physical byte
> strings now, so that we do not have this same "legacy extension code"
> issue five years from now.

Sorry, I don't understand what you're proposing here.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)