[Python-Dev] Rename str/unicode to text [Was: Re: str object going in Py3K]

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Thu Feb 16 19:50:08 CET 2006

On 2/16/06, Adam Olsen <rhamph at gmail.com> wrote:
> While we're at it, any chance of renaming str/unicode to text in 3.0?
> It's a MUCH better name, as evidenced by the opentext/openbytes names.
>  str is just some odd C-ism.
> Obviously it's a form of gratuitous breakage, but I think the long
> term benefits are enough that we need to be *sure* that the breakage
> would be too much before we discount it.  This seems the right time to
> discuss that.

I'm +/-0 on this. ABC used text. In almost every other currently
popular language it's called string. But the advantage of text is that
it's not an abbreviation, and it reinforces the notion that it's not
binary data. "Binary string" is a common colloquialism; "binary text"
is an oxymoron. Mechanical conversion of code using 'str' (or
'unicode') to use 'text' seems simply enough.

OTOH, even if we didn't rename str/unicode to text, opentext would
still be a good name for the function that opens a text file.

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

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