Python-dev summary: Sept. 16-30

A.M. Kuchling
Tue, 3 Oct 2000 21:52:03 -0400

Python-dev summary, September 16-30, 2000

This two-week period continued to be slow, with only 395K of postings
during this span.  This is down from 1.5Mb of messages in July and
August, which were busy and contentious months.  Because the CVS tree
is in a code freeze right now, waiting for the 2.0final release, no
one can make large changes, and therefore there are no large changes
to spur discussion, just bug fixes, about which usually little can be


2.0beta2 was released on September 27:
List of changes from 2.0b1 to b2:

The current plan is to issue a release candidate around October 10th.
If no problems show up after around a week, this release would become
Python 2.0final.  So try out beta2, or at least be sure to try the
2.0rc release when it becomes available.


Barry Scott pointed out that the standard library doesn't support
Unicode, in general.  He ran into a problem with, which
would hang if passed a Unicode string.  "I found that I had a lot of
unicode floating around from win32com that I was passing into
wxPython. It checks for string and raises exceptions. More use of
encode() and we are up and running.  Is this what you expected when
you added unicode?"

The ultimate cause is that Unicode strings implement the buffer
interface, a C-level API letting callers gain access to the internal
representation of a string.  The buffer interface is used by
PyArg_ParseTuple()'s "s#" format sequence, which is used by the
.send() method of socket objects, so the net effect is that
sock.send(unicodestr) writes the 2-byte representation of the string
to the socket:

Other matters

M.-A. Lemburg wondered if there were any Python parsers which would
find multiple errors: "Would it be possible to write a Python syntax
checker that doesn't stop processing at the first error it finds but
instead tries to continue as far as possible (much like make -k)?"

This led to a subthread on compiler generators. Greg Ward talked
about ANTLR: "Unlike pgen, ANTLR is LL(k) -- it can support arbitrary
lookahead, although k>2 can make parser generation expensive (not
parsing itself, just turning your grammar into code), as well as make
your language harder to understand.  (I have a theory that pgen's k=1
limitation has been a brick wall in the way of making Python's syntax
more complex, i.e. it's a *feature*!)"

Greg Ward posted the release plans for the Distutils.  Distutils 1.0
was released on October 2, and Greg will be on vacation from Oct. 4
through 12th.  The Python 2.0 release is planned for October 10th, of
Distutils 1.0 announcement:

Guido suggested adding an .expand() method to the MatchObject class
provided by the re module, and /F quickly responded by checking in 
the change:

/F also committed the long-awaited patch to reduce the huge size of
the Unicode character database, from over a megabyte down to around

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