[Python-Dev] VAX NaN evaluations

John Klos john at ziaspace.com
Tue Nov 5 10:20:07 CET 2013

> I'm sorry to hear that - you might have been wasting your time (but
> then, perhaps not).
> We decided a while ago that the regular Python releases will not support
> VAX/VMS any longer. So any code you write has zero chance of being
> integrated into Python (the same holds for m68k code, BTW).
> That said, you are free to maintain your own branch of Python. In that
> branch, you can make whatever changes you consider necessary, but you
> will be on your own.

Oh, it's definitely not wasting time. I seriously doubt I'd be asking 
Python people to maintain patches upstream, because I seriously doubt we'd 
have any to maintain - this is for NetBSD/VAX, not VMS. Running NetBSD on 
VAX points out many instances where programmers make assumptions, so 
everyone is helped when we address those assumptions.

>From Steven D'Aprano:
> Just to be clear, rather than dump core (which you suggested in a later
> email), if you cannot support NANs on VAXen, you should modify float to
> raise a ValueError exception. Pure Python code like float('nan') should
> never dump core, it should raise:
> ValueError: could not convert string to float: 'nan'

What Steven recommends makes a lot of sense, and if the Python folks don't 
think it's worth adding a few lines to make NaN assignments optionally 
raise an exception, we can keep the patches in NetBSD's pkgsrc.

So the next time I have a little time, I'll look through the code and see 
if I can't find where that would be. And while I'm at it, I'll try to 
learn a little Python ;)


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