[Python-Dev] PEP 277 (unicode filenames): please review

Neil Hodgson nhodgson@bigpond.net.au
Tue, 13 Aug 2002 23:12:16 +1000

> Please comment on the PEP. There is an updated patch on
> http://python.org/sf/594001; please comment on the patch as well.

   I received off-list replies to the PEP from about 5 people. All were in
favour but it doesn't show a great deal of interest. It is hard to place a
good limit on how far this PEP should extend. My initial proposal was just
to allow opening files with Unicode names. The extension to other functions
suggested on the list were worthwhile, especially listdir, but since NT
supports Unicode in all system calls, it could end up being applied to less
useful calls such as popen and getenv.

   There was a suggestion from David Ascher that supporting a Unicode
version of getcwd would be useful and I agree as this will often feed into
the other file handling calls. This one can't be finessed by checking an
input argument for Unicode, so needs an extra name such as getcwdu. It'd be
a good idea here to work out a naming convention for this distinction now so
it can be used for more functions in the future.

> Aren't there some #ifdefs missing? posix_[12]str have code
> that's only relevant for Windows but isn't #ifdef'ed out
> like it is elsewhere.

   I didn't have more #ifdefs to shorten the code. The #ifdefs that exist
are to hide symbols (like _wmkdir) that may only be available on Windows.
The Unicode paths are guarded by unicode_file_names() so will be avoided on
other platforms. It doesn't matter greatly to me if there are additional
compile time guards although taking it further to have the extra (wide)
arguments to posix_[12]str only on Windows would obfuscate the code.