[Python-Dev] Defining a path protocol (was: When should pathlib stop being provisional?)

Koos Zevenhoven k7hoven at gmail.com
Fri Apr 8 13:46:14 EDT 2016

On Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 7:42 PM, Chris Barker <chris.barker at noaa.gov> wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 9:02 AM, Koos Zevenhoven <k7hoven at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I'm still thinking a little bit about 'pathname', which to me sounds
>> more like a string than fspath does [1].
> I like that a lot - or even "__pathstr__" or "__pathstring__"
> after all, we're making a big deal out of the fact that a path is *not a
> string*, but rather a string is a *representation* (or serialization) of a
> path.

For me, the point here is the reverse: that any str is not a path, and
that it is misleading to call it *path* when whole point is to make it
*not* a specialized path object but a plain string. I think it's ok to
think of a path as special kind of string. For instance, an URI is
explicitly defined as a *sequence of characters*, and URIs can be
thought of as a more recent, improved and broadened concept than
paths. This is the point of view I took in my recent proposal, but I
don't think it's the only valid way to think about paths "in theory".
I like the "serialization" interpretation as well, but i tend to think
that that string serialization is what is called a path.

Anyway, I don't think these philosophical considerations should
dictate how Python is implemented. But it is always good to also have
a valid theoretical point of view to back up a design decision.

> For the record, this is pretty rare -- and it was announced on -ideas that
> the discussion had started up here -- maybe you missed that post?

If you mean in Ethan's response to my proposal, I noticed that, but
the discussions here had already gone quite far by that time. Even
more so by the time I had time to see what was going on.

I do have to say this is not the first time I felt there was some sort
of hostility towards newcomers on python-ideas. Sure, it might be
partly because those people don't know the culture on the list, but
I'm not sure if that should be used as an excuse.


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