[Python-Dev] Death to string functions!
Mon, 18 Dec 2000 15:37:13 -0500
> If you're saying that we should give users ample time for the
> transition, I'm with you.
Then we're with each other, for suitably large values of "ample" <wink>.
> If you're saying that you think the string module is too prominent to
> ever start deprecating its use, I'm afraid we have a problem.
We may. Time will tell. It needs a conversion tool, else I think it's
> I'd also like to note that using the string module's wrappers incurs
> the overhead of a Python function call -- using string methods is
> Finally, I like the look of fields[i].strip().lower() much better than
> that of string.lower(string.strip(fields[i])) -- an actual example
> from mimetools.py.
I happen to like string methods better myself; I don't think that's at issue
(except that loads of people apparently don't like "join" as a string
method -- idiots <wink>).
The issue to me is purely breaking old code someday -- "string" is in very
heavy use, and unlike as when deprecating regex in favor of re (either pre
or especially sre), string methods aren't orders of magnitude better than
the old way; and also unlike regex-vs-re it's not the case that the string
module has become unmaintainable (to the contrary, string.py has become
trivial). IOW, this one would be unprecedented fiddling.
> Note that I believe Java makes a useful distinction that PEP 5 misses:
> it defines both deprecated features and obsolete features.
> *Deprecated* features are simply features for which a better
> alternative exists. *Obsolete* features are features that are only
> being kept around for backwards compatibility. Deprecated features
> may also be (and usually are) *obsolescent*, meaning they will become
> obsolete in the future.
I agree it would be useful to define these terms, although those particular
definitions appear to be missing the most important point from the user's
POV (not a one says "going away someday"). A Google search on "java
obsolete obsolescent deprecated" doesn't turn up anything useful, so I doubt
the usages you have in mind come from Java (it has "deprecated", but doesn't
appear to have any well-defined meaning for the others).
In keeping with the religious nature of the battle-- and religion offers
precise terms for degrees of damnation! --I suggest:
struggling -- a supported feature; the initial state of
all features; may transition to Anathematized
anathematized -- this feature is now cursed, but is supported;
may transition to Condemned or Struggling; intimacy with
Anathematized features is perilous
condemned -- a feature scheduled for crucifixion; may transition
to Crucified, Anathematized (this transition is called "a pardon"),
or Struggling (this transition is called "a miracle"); intimacy
with Condemned features is suicidal
crucified -- a feature that is no longer supported; may transition
resurrected -- a once-Crucified feature that is again supported;
may transition to Condemned, Anathematized or Struggling;
although since Resurrection is a state of grace, there may be
no point in human time at which a feature is identifiably
Resurrected (i.e., it may *appear*, to the unenlightened, that
a feature moved directly from Crucified to Anathematized or
Struggling or Condemned -- although saying so out loud is heresy).