[Python-Dev] PySet API

Barry Warsaw barry at python.org
Tue Mar 28 22:40:46 CEST 2006


On Tue, 2006-03-28 at 14:07 +0000, Gareth McCaughan wrote:

> * Simple API:
> API complexity is measured in brain cells, not in methods.
> * Ease of making mistakes:
> The Python API is absolutely stuffed with places where you can go wrong
> by forgetting about subtle refcounting issues. Sure, it's nice to minimize
> that pain, but it's never going to be possible to write much code that
> uses the C API without being alert to such issues.

> * Duck typing:
> Yup, supporting duck typing is good. That's why we have an abstract API.
> There are concrete APIs for all sorts of particular kinds of Python object;
> it seems pretty clear to me that this isn't a mistake, and that sets should
> be one such type. Clients get to choose how to trade off the benefits in
> efficiency, conciseness and clarity from using the concrete API against
> the benefits in generality from using the abstract one.

> * Efficiency:
> Anyone measured this? The mere fact that the overhead of (say) emptying
> a set using PyObject_CallMethod is O(1) doesn't mean it's insignificant.
> For many applications the size of your sets is O(1) too. (Often with
> quite a small implicit constant, too.)

My sentiments exactly Gareth.  Thanks for putting it so much more
eloquently than I have. :)


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