[ python-Bugs-1117048 ] Dictionary Parsing Problem

SourceForge.net noreply at sourceforge.net
Thu Feb 17 00:05:18 CET 2005

Bugs item #1117048, was opened at 2005-02-05 17:50
Message generated for change (Comment added) made by walterbrunswick
You can respond by visiting: 

Category: Python Interpreter Core
Group: None
Status: Open
Resolution: None
Priority: 2
Submitted By: WalterBrunswick (walterbrunswick)
Assigned to: Nobody/Anonymous (nobody)
Summary: Dictionary Parsing Problem

Initial Comment:
Python Version: Python 2.4
OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

There may or may not be (according to some people on 
#python on irc.freenode.net) a fault, if you will, in 
the way that Python evaluates dictionaries (in this 
case, globals()).

<titanstar> apparently printing of dicts are optimized 
not to produce the entire output string before 
printing it

This may be an advantage when it comes to processing 
speed and memory management, but when it comes to 
catching errors, this could very well be a problem.

(I am waltz.)

<waltz> you think it should print a dict with an error 
in it?
<waltz> ha! caught ya there!
<dash> well, if there's an error, it should break.
<dash> and it did.
<waltz> It shouldn't print AT ALL.
<dash> why not?
<waltz> Because of the ERROR!

I'm saying it should raise an abstract exception 
(something like DictError) BEFORE printing, as to 
allow the programmer to handle the error.

Some people don't agree with my argument, but I'll let 
you (the core developers) decide what's best. I just 
thought I should mention this issue, to help improve 
Python to the max!


>Comment By: WalterBrunswick (walterbrunswick)
Date: 2005-02-16 18:05

Logged In: YES 

The interpreter begins parsing the dictionary immediately, 
without buffering and checking for errors beforehand. In 
the case that an error occurs, such as a faulty key, the 
interpreter outputs a nasty-looking error - including the 
error message as part of the dictionary, as you can see 
from the log (ErrorLog2.log). There is no way that this can 
be prevented without locating the source of the problem. 
What I'm saying is that the interpreter should catch the 
error and raise an exception. But as you said, parsing data 
streams in chunks is standard; however, I can't see any way 
around this problem.


Comment By: Terry J. Reedy (tjreedy)
Date: 2005-02-16 15:07

Logged In: YES 

What do you mean by 'dict with an error in it'?  I don't know 
that I can produce such a thing with Python.  Or how globals 
could have an error.

I suppose you could give a dict an unprintable key or value 
(by having __str__ raise an exception), but I would consider 
that a bug in the program and an error in the key/value and 
not the dict.  I think the behavior on trying to print a 
collection with such nasty objects is best left undefined.

Or do you have something else in mind?

In any case, reading and writing data streams in chunks is 
standard practice.  If a dict were large enough, its text 
representation would not even fit in RAM all at once.

And, in any case ... Bug reports should give a specific 
example of the purported bug, complete with cut and paste 
of (minimal) code and output or error trace.  They may need 
a reference to the relevant section of the manuals.  If you 
don't have a verifiable example, please close this.

Specific feature requests can be submitted as an RFE.  
Design discussions should be kept to discussion forums.


You can respond by visiting: 

More information about the Python-bugs-list mailing list