[Python-Dev] Re: tarfile

Gustavo Niemeyer niemeyer@conectiva.com
Sat, 13 Apr 2002 15:57:50 -0300


Hello again Lars!

> During the last weeks, most people who sent feedback on tarfile, told
> me I should propose it to the standard library. The last one was
> Thomas Heller two days ago. All this really encouraged me and if you
> would not have come up to me today, I would have come up to you,
> sooner or later... Thank you very much.

I'm the one who has to thank. You seem to have done a fairly complete
work!

> tarfile is now about 7 weeks old and is reaching a stable state. But
> there are still some things to be done:

Nice! I've seen some of your announcements on c.l.py

> - It is yet missing intense testing, so I'd like to make another
> announcement on c.l.p.

No problems about that. I think that some unittests could do part of
that work as well. Once it gets into the standard library it will be
exposed and may be extensively tested.

> - The interface is not yet finally decided. I'm not absolutely
> confident of the naming of class TarFile's read(), readstr(), write()
> and writestr() methods. They create the illusion of using TarFile as a
> file-like object, which it is not. Perhaps they should be named more
> in accordance to GNU tar.

I'd rather choose a default interface similar where possible to that
of zipfile. This makes it easy to include support to tar.gz in programs
already supporting zipfile, and also creates some standardization. I'm
including python-dev in the discussion to know what they think about
this.

> - The source code has to be cleaned and the docstrings have to be set
> up-to-date.

I can help you in any of those tasks, if you need.

Some issues:

I've just submitted a patch to include mknod() in posixmodule. This
will make it easy to include the missing support for special device files.

You have implemented the most important GNU extensions (long filenames),
and mention you'd like to implement others. OTOH, I've read in the tar
documentation that some of the extensions may change until tar 2.0. This
would turn into a bad option implementing them right now, IMO. What's
your opinion about this?

You mention in some document that one of the differences between tarfile
and tar is that tarfile uses relative path names. Isn't that the default
behavior of tar as well, which could be changed by the -P parameter?

> You see, your mail messed up my schedule a bit :-)

Don't worry.. we're not in a hurry. :-)

> I'm currently working on a latex version of the documentation and will
> soon start writing a PEP.

That's nice!

> Well, I can only say that it would be an honour to give tarfile to the
> standard library and there's nothing from my side which would stand in
> the way.

Thank you very much!

-- 
Gustavo Niemeyer

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