[Python-Dev] introducing byte arrays in 1.6 (was: Unicode debate)

Greg Stein gstein@lyra.org
Sun, 7 May 2000 04:09:45 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 3 May 2000, Guido van Rossum wrote:
> My ASCII proposal is a compromise that tries to be fair to both uses
> for strings.  Introducing byte arrays as a more fundamental type has
> been on the wish list for a long time -- I see no way to introduce
> this into Python 1.6 without totally botching the release schedule
> (June 1st is very close already!).  I'd like to be able to move on,
> there are other important things still to be added to 1.6 (Vladimir's
> malloc patches, Neil's GC, Fredrik's completed sre...).
> For 1.7 (which should happen later this year) I promise I'll reopen
> the discussion on byte arrays.

See my other note. I think a simple change to the buffer() builtin would
allow read/write byte arrays to be simply constructed.

There are a couple API changes that could be made to bufferobject.[ch]
which could simplify some operations for C code and returning buffer
objects. But changes like that would be preconditioned on accepting the
change in return type from those extensions. For example, the doc may say
something returns a string; while buffer objects are similar to strings in
operation, they are not the *same*. IMO, Python 1.7 would be a good time
to alter return types to buffer objects as appropriate. (but I'm not
adverse to doing it today! (to get people used to the difference in


Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/