[Python-Dev] Bytes path support

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Wed Aug 27 00:52:32 CEST 2014

On 27 Aug 2014 02:52, "Terry Reedy" <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:
> On 8/26/2014 9:11 AM, R. David Murray wrote:
>> On Sun, 24 Aug 2014 13:27:55 +1000, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com>
>>> As some examples of where bilingual computing breaks down:
>>> * My NFS client and server may have different locale settings
>>> * My FTP client and server may have different locale settings
>>> * My SSH client and server may have different locale settings
>>> * I save a file locally and send it to someone with a different locale
>>> * I attempt to access a Windows share from a Linux client (or
>>> * I clone my POSIX hosted git or Mercurial repository on a Windows
>>> * I have to connect my Linux client to a Windows Active Directory
>>> domain (or vice-versa)
>>> * I have to interoperate between native code and JVM code
>>> The entire computing industry is currently struggling with this
>>> monolingual (ASCII/Extended ASCII/EBCDIC/etc) -> bilingual (locale
>>> encoding/code pages) -> multilingual (Unicode) transition. It's been
>>> going on for decades, and it's still going to be quite some time
>>> before we're done.
>>> The POSIX world is slowly clawing its way towards a multilingual model
>>> that actually works: UTF-8
>>> Windows (including the CLR) and the JVM adopted a different
>>> multilingual model, but still one that actually works: UTF-16-LE
> Nick, I think the first half of your post is one of the clearest
expositions yet of 'why Python 3' (in particular, the str to unicode
change).  It is worthy of wider distribution and without much change, it
would be a great blog post.

Indeed, I had the same idea - I had been assuming users already understood
this context, which is almost certainly an invalid assumption.

The blog post version is already mostly written, but I ran out of weekend.
Will hopefully finish it up and post it some time in the next few days :)

>> This kind of puts the "length" of the python2->python3 transition
>> period in perspective, doesn't it?

I realised in writing the post that ASCII is over 50 years old at this
point, while Unicode as an official standard is more than 20. By the time
this is done, we'll likely be talking 30+ years for Unicode to displace the
confusing mess that is code pages and locale encodings :)


> --
> Terry Jan Reedy
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