[Python-Dev] Why can't I encode/decode base64 without importing a module?

Xavier Morel catch-all at masklinn.net
Thu Apr 25 12:46:43 CEST 2013

On 2013-04-25, at 11:25 , Antoine Pitrou wrote:
> Besides, I would consider a RFC more authoritative than a
> Wikipedia definition.

> Base encoding of data is used in many situations to store or transfer
> data in environments that, perhaps for legacy reasons, are restricted
> to US-ASCII [1] data.

so the output is US-ASCII data, a byte stream.

Stephen is correct that you could decide you don't care about those
semantics, and implement base64 encoding as a bytes -> str decoding then
requiring a re-encoding (to ascii) before wire transmission.

The clarity of the interface (or lack thereof) would probably make users
want to send a strongly worded letter to whoever implemented it though,
I don't think `data.decode('base64').encode('ascii')` would fit the 
"obviousness" or "readability" expectations of most users.

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