[Python-Dev] bytes.from_hex()

Josiah Carlson jcarlson at uci.edu
Tue Feb 21 19:52:48 CET 2006

Greg Ewing <greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz> wrote:
> Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> > What I advocate for Python is to require that the standard base64
> > codec be defined only on bytes, and always produce bytes.
> I don't understand that. It seems quite clear to me that
> base64 encoding (in the general sense of encoding, not the
> unicode sense) takes binary data (bytes) and produces characters.
> That's the whole point of base64 -- so you can send arbitrary
> data over a channel that is only capable of dealing with
> characters.
> So in Py3k the correct usage would be
>                    base64            unicode
>                    encode            encode(x)
>    original bytes --------> unicode ---------> bytes for transmission
>                   <--------         <---------
>                    base64            unicode
>                    decode            decode(x)
> where x is whatever unicode encoding the transmission
> channel uses for characters (probably ascii or an ascii
> superset, but not necessarily).

It doesn't seem strange to you to need to encode data twice to be able
to have a usable sequence of characters which can be embedded in an
effectively 7-bit email; when base64 was, dare I say it, designed to
have 7-bit email as its destination in the first place?  It does to me.

 - Josiah

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