[Python-Dev] Venting some steam on current developments

Jack Jansen jack@oratrix.nl
Sun, 09 Jul 2000 23:50:52 +0200

I'm getting pretty depressed at the way Python development is
proceeding at the moment. I spent all evening tonight on what seemed
to be an almost trivial task: fixing the default unicode conversion on 
the Mac. All the machinery is there, the MacOS API has some nice
conversion routines so I thought it'd be a question of putting in a
few hooks and be done, but that turned out not to be so.

The first problem (for which I can't blame the Python community, I
guess:-) is that the names mac_roman and such are not official IANA
names for the Mac encodings. Actually, it turns out there _are_ no
official names, so the Mac APIs to turn encodings into names work
wonderful for things including all ISO encodings, windows encodings,
etc, but not for the native mac encodings. Sigh. Okay, we do this

Then I spent an hour recompiling Python because this *&^^$%&*^%$
setdefaultencoding didn't show up in sys for no conceivable reason. It 
turns out it is *deleted* in site.py after using it once. A comment in 
sysmodule.c would have been rather nice here...

And then I found out that locale uses only environment variables to
obtain all the basic encoding info in the first place, so that also
has to be fixed up seriously.

So many things are changing at the moment, and there seems to be so
little thought of any platform that isn't linux or windows, that I
think Python's portability to minority platforms is being seriously
threatened. And at least I follow closely what is happening, I really
don't want to think of the poor people who do BeOS or WinCE or Palm
Python. Or even some of the lesser-used Unix ports.

I'm fed up, I'll continue hacking tomorrow, if I don't have to spend
yet another evening trying to get Python to compile again:-(
Jack Jansen             | ++++ stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal ++++
Jack.Jansen@oratrix.com | ++++ if you agree copy these lines to your sig ++++
www.oratrix.nl/~jack    | ++++ see http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/ ++++