[Python-Dev] Suggestion for a new built-in - flatten

Josiah Carlson jcarlson at uci.edu
Fri Sep 22 22:17:23 CEST 2006

"Bob Ippolito" <bob at redivi.com> wrote:
> On 9/22/06, Brian Harring <ferringb at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Fri, Sep 22, 2006 at 12:05:19PM -0700, Bob Ippolito wrote:
> > > I think instead of adding a flatten function perhaps we should think
> > > about adding something like Erlang's "iolist" support. The idea is
> > > that methods like "writelines" should be able to take nested iterators
> > > and consume any object they find that implements the buffer protocol.
> >
> > Which is no different then just passing in a generator/iterator that
> > does flattening.
> >
> > Don't much see the point in gumming up the file protocol with this
> > special casing; still will have requests for a flattener elsewhere.
> >
> > If flattening was added, should definitely be a general obj, not a
> > special casing in one method in my opinion.
> I disagree, the reason for iolist is performance and convenience; the
> required indirection of having to explicitly call a flattener function
> removes some optimization potential and makes it less convenient to
> use.

Sorry Bob, but I disagree.  In the few times where I've needed to 'write
a list of buffers to a file handle', I find that iterating over the
buffers to be sufficient.  And honestly, in all of my time dealing
with socket and file IO, I've never needed to write a list of iterators
of buffers.  Not to say that YAGNI, but I'd like to see an example where
1) it was being used in the wild, and 2) where it would be a measurable

 - Josiah

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