[Python-Dev] file() or open()?

Paul Prescod paul at prescod.net
Wed Jul 7 17:14:23 CEST 2004

Guido van Rossum wrote:

> I recently saw a checkin that changed a call to open() into a call to
> file(), suggesting that using file() is more "politically correct"
> than open().
> I'm not sure I agree with this.  While open() and file() are currently
> aliases for the same object, this may not always be the case (it
> certainly wasn't always the case :-). 

I presumed file() was preferred to open() for the simple reason that it 
says more explicitly what you are doing. You are constructing a file 
object. "open()" doesn't say whether you are opening a file or socket or 
window or folder or ...

open made sense in a Unix world where "everything was a file" (except 
that even then it wasn't really) but it is a poor name for the file 
opening function in a 21st century language.

  Paul Prescod

More information about the Python-Dev mailing list