[Python-Dev] ssize_t: ints in header files

Jim Jewett jimjjewett at gmail.com
Tue Jun 6 15:41:27 CEST 2006

(Neal Norwitz asked about changing some additional ints and longs to ssize_t)

Martin v. Löwis replied:

> ... column numbers shouldn't exceed 16-bits, and line #s
> shouldn't exceed 31 bits.

Why these particular numbers?

As nearly as I can tell, 8 bits is already too many columns for human

If python is being used as an intermediate language (code is
automatically generated, and not read by humans), then I don't see any
justification for any particular limits, except as an implementation
detail driven by convenience.

Similar arguments apply to row count, #args, etc.

With the exception of row count and possibly instruction count, the
only readability reason to allow even 256 is that we don't want to
accidentally encourage people to aim for the limit.  (I really don't
want people to answer the challenge and start inventing cases where a
huge function might be justified, just so that they can blog about
their workarounds; I would prefer that obfuscated python contests be
clearly labeled so that beginners aren't turned off.)


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