[Python-Dev] Bytes path support

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Wed Aug 20 13:08:16 CEST 2014

On 20 Aug 2014 04:18, "Marko Rauhamaa" <marko at pacujo.net> wrote:
> Tres Seaver <tseaver at palladion.com>:
> > On 08/19/2014 01:43 PM, Ben Hoyt wrote:
> >> Fair enough. I don't quite understand, though -- why is the "official
> >> policy" to kill something that's "essential" on *nix?
> >
> > ISTM that the policy is based on a fantasy that "it looks like text to
> > me in my use cases, so therefore it must be text for everyone."
> What I like about Python is that it allows me to write native linux code
> without having to make portability compromises that plague, say, Java. I
> have select.epoll(). I have os.fork(). I have socket.TCP_CORK. The
> "textualization" of Python3 seems part of a conscious effort to make
> Python more Java-esque.

It's not just the JVM that says text and binary APIs should be separate -
it's every widely used operating system services layer except POSIX. The
POSIX way works well *if* everyone reliably encodes things as UTF-8 or
always uses encoding detection, but its failure mode is unfortunately
silent data corruption.

That said, there's a lot of Python software that is POSIX specific, where
bytes paths would be the least of the barriers to porting to Windows or
Jython. I'm personally +1 on consistently allowing binary paths in lower
level APIs, but disallowing them in higher level explicitly cross platform
abstractions like pathlib.


> Marko
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