[Python-Dev] base64 -- should b64encode introduce line breaks?

Bill Janssen janssen at parc.com
Fri Sep 14 21:20:32 CEST 2007

> >> I see that base64.b64encode and base64.standard_b64encode no longer
> >> introduce line breaks into the output strings, as base64.encodestring
> >> does.  Shouldn't there be an option on one of them to do this?
> >
> > See:
> >
> > http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-bugs-list/2001-October/ 
> > 007856.html
> >
> > section 2.1 of http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc3548.html
> >
> > Perhaps adding MIME_b64encode() and PEM_b64encode() routines?  Or just
> > an optional parameter to standard_b64encode, called "max_line_length",
> > defaulting to 0, meaning no max?
> It turns out to be inconvenient in other contexts to do the line  
> splitting at this lower level, so I would prefer to leave the current  
> methods as is (that means, no change in semantics or arguments).
> I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to new functions that did the line  
> splitting, but ideally, you could design an API that provided that  
> behavior for any of the existing alternatives in the base64 module,  
> without duplicating them all.  It's not clear to me how you'd do that  
> though (or if it's worth it).

I think that's probably right.  I just added the PEM line-wrapping to
the code in the ssl module.  Though I hate to keep adding
line-wrapping code here and there...  Perhaps just adding a utility
function, wrap_lines(), or some such to the module would suffice.


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