[Python-Dev] Bytes path support

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Wed Aug 20 16:04:20 CEST 2014

On Wed Aug 20 2014 at 9:02:25 AM Antoine Pitrou <antoine at python.org> wrote:

> Le 20/08/2014 07:08, Nick Coghlan a écrit :
> >
> > 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.
> I fully agree with Nick's position here.
> To elaborate specifically about pathlib, it doesn't handle bytes paths
> but allows you to generate them if desired:
> https://docs.python.org/3/library/pathlib.html#operators
> Adding full bytes support to pathlib would have added a lot of
> complication and fragility in the implementation *and* in the API (is it
> allowed to combine str and bytes paths? should they have separate
> classes?), for arguably little benefit.
> I think if you want low-level features (such as unconverted bytes paths
> under POSIX), it is reasonable to point you to low-level APIs.

+1 from me as well. Allowing the low-level stuff work on bytes but keeping
high-level actually high-level keeps with our consenting adults policy as
well as making things possible, but not at the detriment of the common
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