[Python-Dev] Bytes path support

Oleg Broytman phd at phdru.name
Sat Aug 23 20:37:29 CEST 2014


On Sat, Aug 23, 2014 at 06:40:37PM +0100, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 23 August 2014 16:15, Oleg Broytman <phd at phdru.name> wrote:
> > On Sat, Aug 23, 2014 at 06:02:06PM +0900, "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen at xemacs.org> wrote:
> >> And that's the big problem with Oleg's complaint, too.  It's not at
> >> all clear what he wants
> >
> >    The first thing is I want to understand why people continue to refer
> > to Unix was as "broken". Better yet, to persuade them it's not.

   "Unix was" => "Unix way"

> Generally, it seems to be mostly a reaction to the repeated claims
> that Python, or Windows, or whatever, is "broken".

   Ah, if that's the only problem I certainly can live with that. My
problem is that it *seems* this anti-Unix attitude infiltrates Python
core development. I very much hope I'm wrong and it really isn't.

> Unix advocates (not
> yourself) are prone to declaring anything *other* than the Unix model
> as "broken", so it's tempting to give them a taste of their own
> medicine. Sorry for that (to the extent that I was one of the people
> doing so).

   You didn't see me in my younger years. I surely was one of those
Windows bashers. Please take my apology.

> Rhetoric aside, none of Unix, Windows or Python are "broken". They
> just react in different ways to fundamentally difficult edge cases.
> But expecting Python (a cross-platform language) to prefer the Unix
> model is putting all the pain on non-Unix users of Python, which I
> don't feel is reasonable. Let's all compromise a little.
> Paul
> PS The key thing *I* think is a problem with the Unix behaviour is
> that it treats filenames as bytes rather than Unicode. People name
> files using *characters*. So every filename is semantically text, in
> the mind of the person who created it. Unix enforces a transformation
> to bytes, but does not retain the encoding of those bytes. So
> information about the original author's intent is lost. But that's a
> historical fact, baked into Unix at a low level. Whether that's
> "broken" or just "something to deal with" is not important to me.

   The problem is hardly specific to Unix. Despite Joel Spolsky's "There
Ain't No Such Thing As Plain Text" people create text files all the
time. Without specifying an encoding. And put filenames into those text
files (audio playlists, like .m3u and .pls are just text files with
   Unix takes the idea that everything is text and a stream of bytes to
its extreme.

     Oleg Broytman            http://phdru.name/            phd at phdru.name
           Programmers don't die, they just GOSUB without RETURN.

More information about the Python-Dev mailing list