[Python-Dev] String methods... finally

Tim Peters tim_one at email.msn.com
Wed Jun 16 06:02:44 CEST 1999

[MarkH agonizes, over whether to auto-convert or not]

Well, the rule *could* be that the result type is the widest string type
among the separator and the sequences' string elements (if any), and other
types convert to the result type along the way.  I'd be more specific,
except I'm not sure which flavor of string str() returns (or, indeed,
whether that's up to each __str__ implementation).  In any case, widening to
Unicode should always be possible, and if "widest wins" it doesn't require a
multi-pass algorithm regardless (although the partial result so far may need
to be widened once -- but that's true even if auto-convert of non-string
types isn't implemented).

Or, IOW,
    sep.join([a, b, c]) == f(a) + sep + f(b) + sep + f(c)

where I don't know how to spell f, but f(x) *means*

    x' = if x has a string type then x else x.__str__()
    return x' coerced to the widest string type seen so far

So I think everyone can get what they want -- except that those who want
auto-convert are at direct odds with those who prefer to wag Guido's fingers
and go "tsk, tsk, we know what you want but you didn't say 'please' so your
program dies" <wink>.

master-of-fair-summaries-ly y'rs  - tim

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