[Python-Dev] from __future__ import unicode_strings?

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Thu Feb 16 02:23:56 CET 2006

On 2/15/06, Neil Schemenauer <nas at arctrix.com> wrote:
> I'm in the process of summarizing the dicussion on the bytes object
> and an idea just occured to me.  Imagine that I want to write code
> that deals with strings and I want to be maximally compatible with
> P3k.  It would be nice if I could add:
>     from __future__ import unicode_strings
> and have string literals without a 'u' prefix become unicode
> instances.  I'm not sure how tricky the implementation would be but
> it seems like a useful feature.

Didn't we have a command-line option to do this? I believe it was
removed because nobody could see the point. (Or am I hallucinating?
After several days of non-stop discussing bytes that must be
considered a possibility.)

Of course a per-module switch is much more useful.

> An even crazier idea is to have that import change 'str' to be
> an alias for 'unicode'.

Now *that's* crazy talk. :-)

It's probably easier to do that by placing a line

  str = unicode

at the top of the file. Of course (like a good per-module switch
should!) this won't affect code in other modules that you invoke so
it's not clear that it always does the right thing. But it's a start.

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

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