[Python-Dev] PEP 428 - pathlib API questions

Ben Hoyt benhoyt at gmail.com
Sun Nov 24 23:00:09 CET 2013

PEP 428 looks nice. Thanks, Antoine!

I have a couple of questions about the module name and API. I think
I've read through most of the previous discussion, but may have missed
some, so please point me to the right place if there have already been
discussions about these things.

1) Someone on reddit.com/r/Python asked "Is the import going to be
'pathlib'? I thought the renaming going on of std lib things with the
transition to Python 3 sought to remove the spurious usage of
appending 'lib' to libs?" I wondered about this too. Has this been

2) I think the operation of "suffix" and "suffixes" is good, but not
so much the name. I saw Ben Finney's original suggestion about
multiple extensions etc

However, it seems there was no further discussion about why not
"extension" and "extensions"? I have never heard a filename extension
being called a "suffix". I know it is a suffix in the sense of the
English word, but I've never heard it called that in this context, and
I think context is important. Put another way, "extension" is obvious
and guessable, "suffix" isn't.

3) Obviously pathlib isn't going in the stdlib in Python 2.x, but I'm
wondering about writing portable code when you want the string version
of the path. In Python 3.x you'll call str(path_obj), but in Python
2.x that will fail if the path has unicode chars in it, and you'll
need to use unicode(path_obj), which of course doesn't work 3.x. Is
this just a fact of life, or would .str() or .as_string() help for
2.x/3.x portability?

4) Is path_obj.glob() recursive? In the PEP it looks like it is if the
pattern starts with '**', but in the pep428 branch of the code there
are both glob() and rglob() functions. I've never seen the ** syntax
before (though admittedly I'm a Windows dev), and much prefer the
explicitness of having two functions, or maybe even better,
path_obj.glob('*.py', recursive=True).

Seems much more Pythonic to provide an actual argument (or different
function) for this change in behaviour, rather than stuffing the
"recursive flag" inside the pattern string.

Has this ship already sailed with http://bugs.python.org/issue13968?
Which I also think should also be rglob(pattern) or glob(pattern,
recursive=True). Of course, if this ship has already sailed, it's
definitely better for pathlib's glob to match glob.glob.


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