[Python-Dev] str.dedent

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Mon Nov 14 11:41:33 CET 2005

Gareth McCaughan wrote:
> On Sunday 2005-11-13 17:43, Marc-Andre Lemburg wrote:
> [Noam Raphael:]
>>>The idea is to add a method called "dedent" to strings. It would do
>>>exactly what the current textwrap.indent function does. 
> [Marc-Andre:]
>>You are missing a point here: string methods were introduced
>>to make switching from plain 8-bit strings to Unicode easier.
>>As such they are only needed in cases where an algorithm
>>has to work on the resp. internals differently or where direct
>>access to the internals makes a huge difference in terms
>>of performance.
> In a language that generally pays as much attention to
> practical usability as Python, it seems a pity to say
> (as you seem to be implying) that whether something is
> a string method or a function in (say) the "textwrap"
> module should be determined by internal implementation
> details.

We have to draw a line somewhere - otherwise you could
just as well add all functions that accept single
string arguments as methods to the basestring

>>>Writing multilined strings without spaces in the beginning of lines
>>>makes functions harder to read, since although the Python parser is
>>>happy with it, it breaks the visual indentation.
>>This is really a minor compiler/parser issue and not one which
>>warrants adding another string method.
> Adding another string method seems easier, and a smaller
> change, than altering the compiler or parser. What's your
> point here? I think I must be missing something.

The point is that the presented use case does not
originate in a common need (to dedent strings), but
from a desire to write Python code with embedded
indented triple-quoted strings which lies in the scope
of the parser, not that of string objects.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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