[Python-Dev] Python and the Unicode Character Database

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Wed Dec 1 10:15:57 CET 2010

Terry Reedy wrote:
> On 11/30/2010 10:05 AM, Alexander Belopolsky wrote:
> My general answers to the questions you have raised are as follows:
> 1. Each new feature release should use the latest version of the UCD as
> of the first beta release (or perhaps a week or so before). New chars
> are new features and the beta period can be used to (hopefully) iron out
> any bugs introduced by a new UCD version.

The UCD is versioned just like Python is, so if the Unicode Consortium
decides to ship a 5.2.1 version of the UCD, we can add that to Python 2.7.x,
since Python 2.7 started out with 5.2.0.

> 2. The language specification should not be UCD version specific. Martin
> pointed out that the definition of identifiers was intentionally written
> to not be, bu referring to 'current version' or some such. On the other
> hand, the UCD version used should be programatically discoverable,
> perhaps as an attribute of sys or str.

It already is and has been for while, e.g.

Python 2.5:
>>> import unicodedata
>>> unicodedata.unidata_version

> 3.. The UCD should not change in bugfix releases. New chars are new
> features. Adding them in bugfix releases will introduce gratuitous
> imcompatibilities between releases. People who want the latest Unicode
> should either upgrade to the latest Python version or patch an older
> version (but not expect core support for any problems that creates).

See above. Patch level revisions of the UCD are fine for patch level
releases of Python, since those patch level revisions of the UCD fix
bugs just like we do in Python.

Note that each new UCD major.minor version is a new standard on its
own, so it's perfectly ok to stick with one such standard version
per Python version.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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