[Python-Dev] Integrate BeautifulSoup into stdlib?

Larry Bugbee bugbee at mac.com
Mon Mar 9 05:10:02 CET 2009

>>> In light of this, what I'd love to see (but sadly can't really help
>>> with, and am not optimistic about happening) is for:
>>> - python to grow a decent, cross platform, package management system
>>> - the standard library to actually shrink to a point where only
>>> libraries that are not released elsewhere are included
>>> I'd be interested to know how many users of python also felt this  
>>> way ;-)
>> I don't like the standard library to shrink. It's good that batteries
>> are included.
> I have mixed feelings. It is great that the batteries are included,  
> but
> some batteries are showing their age or not maintained (who maintains
> IDLE? - does the calendar module really warrant being in the standard
> library? - imaplib is really not useful and IMAPClient which isn't in
> the standard library is much better [1]).
> If a library is well maintained then there seems to be little point in
> moving it into the standard library as it may actually be harder to
> maintain, and if a library has no active developers then do we really
> want it in the standard library...
> On the other hand there are some standard tools that a significant
> portion of the community use (Python Imaging Library and the PyWin32
> extensions for example) that aren't in the standard library.
> I think other developers have similar mixed feelings, or at least  
> there
> are enough people on both sides of the fence that it is very hard to
> make changes. Perhaps this is the way it should be.

Batteries Included should not be interpreted as Soup and Nuts or the  
Kitchen Sink.  There are a lot of good, no, outstanding libraries out  
there that are excellent candidates for the standard library.  IMO,  
the standard library should include those things that would be truly  
helpful getting small projects started.  Beyond that the needs of the  
project will likely be specialized to the point that one should be  
using libraries beyond the standard libraries.  Heck, there are things  
I use frequently that I'd like to be "standard", but could be an  
imposition on the rest of the Python community.  The last thing I want  
to see is a library so large that we spend time figuring out how to  
cull unwanted items.

Beautiful Soup and html5lib are good, but specialized libraries, and  
not, IMO, of *general* interest.  The same goes for lxml, which by the  
way, I like and have used.  ...but it doesn't have to be in the  
standard library to be useful.

I'd like to suggest that any new candidate for the standard library be  
discussed and then set aside for a cooling off period of ONE YEAR.  If  
then folks can all agree the library is not only Goodness, but of  
general interest, especially for bootstrapping small projects, then  
take a vote, or the BDFL can decide.

A key criteria should be, "Will the new library help small projects  
get started by providing basic capabilities without introducing a  
steep learning curve?"


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