[Python-Dev] Docs of weak stdlib modules should encourage exploration of 3rd-party alternatives
Jim J. Jewett
jimjjewett at gmail.com
Mon Mar 19 20:12:20 CET 2012
Steven D'Aprano posted:
> "Need" is awfully strong. I don't believe it is the responsibility
> of the standard library to be judge and reviewer of third party
> packages that it doesn't control.
It is, however, user-friendly to indicate when the stdlib selections
are particularly likely to be for reasons other than "A bunch of
experts believe this is the best way to do this." Cpython's
documentation is (de facto) the documentation for python in
general, and pointing people towards other resources (particularly
pypi itself) is quite reasonable.
Many modules are in the stdlib in part because they are an *acceptable*
way of doing something, and the "best" ways are either changing too
quickly or are so complicated that it doesn't make sense to burden
the *standard* libary for specialist needs. In those cases, I do
think the documentation should say so.
http://docs.python.org/library/numeric.html quite reasonably has
subsections only for what ships with Python. But I think the
introductory paragraph could stand to have an extra sentence
explaining why and when people should look beyond the stanard
library, such as:
Applications centered around mathematics may benefit from
specialist 3rd party libraries, such as
numpy < http://pypi.python.org/pypi/numpy/ >,
gmpy < http://pypi.python.org/pypi/gmpy >, and
scipy< http://pypi.python.org/pypi/scipy >.
I would add a similar sentence to the web section, or the
internet protocols section if web is still not broken out
Note that some web conventions are still evolving too quickly
for covenient encapsulation in a stable library. Many
applications will therefore prefer functional replacements
from third parties, such as requests or httplib2, or
frameworks such as Django and Zope. www-related products
can be found by browsing PyPI for top internet subtopic www/http.
< http://pypi.python.org/pypi?:action=browse&c=319&c=326 >
[I think that searching by classifier -- which first requires browse,
and can't be reached from the list of classifiers -- could be improved.]
> Should we recommend wxPython over Pyjamas or PyGUI or PyGtk?
Actually, I think the existing http://docs.python.org/library/othergui.html
does a pretty good job; I would not object to adding mentions of
other tools as well, but wiki reference is probably sufficient.
If there are still threading problems with my replies, please
email me with details, so that I can try to resolve them. -jJ
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