[Python-Dev] Re: Is the 2.0 xml package too immature to release?

Paul prescod@prescod.net
Thu, 14 Sep 2000 18:25:38 -0500 (CDT)

On Thu, 14 Sep 2000, Guido van Rossum wrote:

> > In the face of all of this confusion the safest thing would be to make
> > [...] illegal and then figure it out for Python 2.1. 
> Taking out controversial features is a good idea in some cases, in
> order to prevent likely disasters.
> I've heard that the xml support in 2.0b1 is broken, and that it's not
> clear that it will be possible to fix it in time (the 2.0b1 release is
> due in two weeks).  The best thing here seems to remove it and put it
> back in 2.1 (due 3-6 months after 2.0).  In the mean time, the XML-sig
> can release its own version.

I've been productively using the 2.0 XML package. There are three main
modules in there: Expat -- which I believe is fine, SAX -- which is not
finished, and minidom -- which has a couple of very minor known bugs
relating to standards conformance.

If you are asking whether SAX can be fixed in time then the answer is "I
think so but it is out of my hands."  I contributed fixes to SAX this
morning and the remaining known issues are design issues. I'm not the
designer. If I were the designer I'd call it done, make a test suite and
go home.

Whether or not it is finished, I see no reason to hold up either minidom
or expat. There have been very few complaints about either.

> The way I understand the situation right now is that there are two
> packages claiming the name xml; one in the 2.0 core and one released
> by the XML-sig.  While the original intent was for the XML-sig package
> to be a superset of the core package, this doesn't appear to be
> currently the case, even if the brokenness of the core xml package can
> be fixed.

That's true. Martin V. Loewis has promised to look into this situation for
us. I believe he has a good understanding of the issues.

> We absolutely cannot have a situation where there could be two
> applications, one working only with the xml-sig's xml package, and the
> other only with the 2.0 core xml package.  If at least one direction
> of compatibility cannot be guaranteed, I propose that one of the
> packages be renamed.  We can either rename the xml package to be
> released with Python 2.0 to xmlcore, or we can rename the xml-sig's
> xml package to xmlsig (or whatever they like).  (Then when in 2.1 the
> issue is resolved, we can rename the compatible solution back to xml.)
> Given that the xml-sig already has released packages called xml, the
> best solution (and one which doesn't require the cooperation of the
> xml-sig!) is to rename the 2.0 core xml package to xmlcore.

I think it would be unfortunate if the Python xml processing package be
named xmlcore for eternity. The whole point of putting it in the core is
that it should become more popular and ubiquitous than an add-on module.

I'd rather see Martin given an opportunity to look into it. If he hasn't
made progress in a week then we can rename one or the other.