[Python-Dev] Docs of weak stdlib modules should encourage exploration of 3rd-party alternatives

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Tue Mar 13 05:40:37 CET 2012

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:
> I would rather we figure out how to encourage authors of advancing packages
> to contribute better implementations of existing features and well-tested
> new features back to the stdlib module.

I would not. There are many excellent packages out there that should
not be made into stdlib packages simply because their authors are not
done adding new features. If you contribute something to the stdlib
and also maintain a non-stdlib version of the same code to which you
regularly add features, your code is not ready for inclusion into the
stdlib. Not only should you be willing to wait 18 months (until the
next feature release) before your features are released, but you
should also accept that only the latest version of Python will see
those features.

This obviously makes it very unattractive for many authors to ever
contribute to the stdlib. That's fine. There's a healthy ecosystem of
3rd party modules. For some areas (web stuff especially) there's just
no way that the stdlib can keep up. Yes, the stdlib offerings work.
But no, they are not very convenient and may not support popular
idioms very well. For these types of modules I think it is a good idea
to place some sort of pointer in the stdlib docs to an external page
(maybe a wiki page) that collects a currently popular set of
alternatives, or perhaps a few pointers and wiki pages. We should
still be conservative with this, and we should word it to avoid
implying that the stdlib code is buggy -- it just isn't as spiffy or
featureful as the 3rd party options.

(Agreed that the "leaky" wording was unfortunate. I may have
inadvertently suggested this, taking the analogy with "batteries
included". But I didn't mean it to be literally included into the

--Guido van Rossum (python.org/~guido)

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