[Python-Dev] Deprecated xmllib module

Anthony Baxter anthony at interlink.com.au
Sun Dec 5 16:42:56 CET 2004

On Sunday 05 December 2004 21:40, Raymond Hettinger wrote:
> * The number one current python complaint is the state of the standard
> library:  http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3441931 .
> Some of this may just be the fruits of AMK's highly publicized journal
> entry; however, I think the concerns about library quality will persist.
> * The average quality of the library improves as we take out junk (the
> tzparse module for example) and put in high quality modules like
> logging, csv, decimal, etc.

We can't win - if we remove it, we'll get massive numbers of complaints
bitching about us breaking backwards compatibility. I think the solution
is to make sure the library docs say, very clearly, in big words at the
top of the relevant page "DON'T DO NEW CODE WITH THIS MODULE".
Perhaps Fred can make latex2html output a <blink> tag around it <wink>.
The library docs for, e.g. xmllib already say deprecated at the top - maybe
it should be larger?

Should the global module index should grow a "(deprecated)" line
next door to the module name of the modules that are known to be
old and kinda awful (such as xmllib)? Or make a seperate category -
normal modules, and modules-that-are-only-kept-for-backwards compat?
I suspect that rfc822 will end up in that latter category, rather than ever
being removed (at least, until 3.0). I went through just my own code, and
found an amazing amount of use of that module.  Python has a reputation 
for stability and not forcing people to rewrite their code - I think that this
is a good thing. 

IOW, I think breaking code is far worse than some folks whining 
that some of the stdlib is old and crufty. 

Alternately, we could lock the folks complaining about the stdlib's state
in a room with the folks who complain that every new thing has "wrecked
the language that they knew and loved" and let them fight it out.

> * After working through the tutorial, another huge task for aspiring
> intermediate Python programmer is to learn about the standard library.
> That task is made much difficult by the presence of obsolete,
> incomplete, and/or supplanted modules.

Surely this one is something that can be fixed in the documentation
by marking obsolete modules as such, or making the marking much


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