[Python-Dev] Iterable sockets?

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Thu, 13 Mar 2003 21:56:42 -0500

> >> Line oriented network protocols are very common, and I often find
> >> myself calling the socket makefile method so I can read complete
> >> lines from a socket. I'm probably not the first one who's wished
> >> that socket objects where more file-like.
> >> 
> >> While I don't think we'd want to go as far as to turn them into a
> >> stdio based file object, it might make sense to allow them to be
> >> iterated over (and add a .readline() method, I guess). This would
> >> necessitate adding some input buffering, which will complicate
> >> things like the .recv() method, so I'm not sure it's that good an
> >> idea, but it removes one gotchya for neophytes (and forgetful
> >> veterans). Thoughts?
> >
> >Um, why doesn't the makefile() method do what you want?
> The short answer is that it does, but not very tidily - by turning the
> socket object into a file object, I lose the original socket object
> functionality (for example, shutdown()).

You can just keep the socket around though.

> At another level, the concept of a "file-like" object is a very common
> python idiom - socket is the odd one out these days.
> It's really not a big deal - we could regularise the interface at the
> cost of more implementation complexity.

I'm not sure if I'd call that regularizing.  It would by necessity
become some kind of odd mixture.  In any case, I find the file
abstraction a bit arcane too.  Maybe we should strive to replace all
these with something better in Python 3.0, to be prototyped in the
standard library starting with 2.4.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)