[Python-Dev] Struct module format code addition (previously was in the subprocess thread)

Josiah Carlson jcarlson at uci.edu
Wed Oct 13 09:26:38 CEST 2004

> For those features, the
> potential user community is *much* larger than for the feature under
> discussion, and I feel I would waste my time for adding a feature that
> only few users ever need.

And yet you continue the discussion?  I talk about it because /I/ find
the functionality useful, I believe /others/ would find it useful if
they were put in similar situations as I, and I believe it adds
flexibility to a module (which I think is positive).

> If you would like to debate the size of the user community: any
> significanly-large user community should have come up with a standard,
> pure-Python solution to the problem by now which would just wait for
> integration. This is IMO the process that should be followed for all
> library extensions: the library should be developed elsewhere, and
> wait some time for API and implementation stabilization. Only *then*
> it become candidate for inclusion into Python.

If every modification to Python required a community of people, who all
joined together to advocate something, then nothing would ever get done. 
People would be spending all their time trying to gather groups of
people to agree with them that functionality K is necessary.

Thankfully there has been cases in the past where someone has said, "hey,
this thing could really use X", some people agree, some people disagree,
a sample implementation is done, and sometimes it is accepted.

I'm not even saying that we should add a new module.  I'm not even
saying we should add a new function to a module.  Heck, I'm not even
asking for a new argument to a function that previously existed.  I am,
quite literally, asking for the equivalent of less than one bit in a
flag (there are currently 22 format/endian characters, which are all
orthogonal, which would require 5 bits, if they were flags).

The API already exists.  The framework already exists.  I'm not asking
for Python to interpret something that was valid before as something
different now.  I'm asking for the equivalent of a previously invalid
flag, to become valid, in order to expose previously existing
translation mechanisms, whose use can be found in databases, network
protocols, encryption, etc.

Try to read the above paragraph outside of the context of struct and the
RFE.  Does it make sense to include the change now?

If every request to interpret a new flag required significant community
involvement, goodness, would it take an act of Guido to get a commit

Have a good day Martin,
 - Josiah

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