[Python-Dev] Hindsight on Py_UNICODE_WIDE?

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Fri Mar 23 19:43:21 CET 2007

On 3/23/07, Jason Orendorff <jason.orendorff at gmail.com> wrote:
> Scheme is adding Unicode support in an upcoming standard:
> (DRAFT) http://www.r6rs.org/document/lib-html/r6rs-lib-Z-H-3.html
> I have two questions for the python-dev team about Python's Unicode
> experiences.  If it's convenient, please take a moment to reply.
> Thanks in advance.
> 1.  In hindsight, what do you think about PEP 261, the Py_UNICODE_WIDE
> build option?  On balance, has this been good, bad, or indifferent?
> What's good/bad about it?

Don't ask me, I've never thought about it.

> 2.  The idea of multiple string representations has come up (that is,
> where all strings are Unicode, but in memory some are 8-bit, some
> 16-bit, and some 32-bit--each string uses the narrowest possible
> representation).  This has been discussed here for Python 3000.  My
> question is:  Is this for real?  How far along is it?  How likely is
> it?

Unlikely to happen at this point; nobody's stepped up to implement
this, and the implementation effort would be *huuuuge* -- on top of
the already *huuge* effort of unifying str and unicode. (And no, it
would not make that effort any easier.)

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)

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