[Python-Dev] splitext('.cshrc')

glyph at divmod.com glyph at divmod.com
Fri Mar 9 02:20:56 CET 2007

On 8 Mar, 06:02 pm, phd at phd.pp.ru wrote:
>On Thu, Mar 08, 2007 at 06:54:30PM +0100, "Martin v. L?wis" wrote:
>>      back_name = splitext(name[0]) + '.bak'
>back_name = splitext(name)[0] + '.bak'

This is really totally secondary to the point I actually care about, but 
seeing this antipattern bandied about as a reason to make the change is 
starting to bother me.

There's no way to "fix" this idiom.  Forget the corner case; what if you 
have a foobar.py and a foobar.txt in the same directory?  This is not at 
all uncommon, and your "backup" function here will clobber those files 
in any case.

Furthermore, although the module documentation is vague, the docstring 
for splitext specifically says "either part may be empty" and "extension 
is everything from the last dot to the end".  Again, this is a case of 
needing a function designed to perform a specific task, and instead 
relying on half-broken idioms which involve other functions. 
make_backup_filename(x) might *use* splitext, but it is not what 
splitext is *for*.  A correct implementation which did use splitext 
would look like this:

    def make_backup_filename(filename):
        base, extension = splitext(filename)
        return base + '.bak' + extension

although personally I would probably prefer this:

    def make_backup_filename(filename):
        return filename + '.bak'

If the behavior of the old code is going to be buggy in any case, it 
might as well be buggy and consistent.  Consider a program that 
periodically makes and then cleans up backup files, and uses the 
"correct" splitext-using function above.  Perhaps .cshrc.bak makes more 
sense than .bak.cshrc to some people, but that means that on a system 
where python is upgraded, .bak.cshrc will be left around forever.  Even 
on a program whose functionality is improved by this change, the 
incompatibility between versions might create problems.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/attachments/20070309/f0d53bfe/attachment.htm 

More information about the Python-Dev mailing list