[Python-Dev] BDFL ruling request: should we block forever waiting for high-quality random bits?

Doug Hellmann doug at doughellmann.com
Thu Jun 9 08:53:51 EDT 2016

Excerpts from R. David Murray's message of 2016-06-09 08:41:01 -0400:
> On Thu, 09 Jun 2016 13:12:22 +0100, Cory Benfield <cory at lukasa.co.uk> wrote:
> > The Linux kernel can���t change this stuff easily because they mustn���t
> > break userspace. Python *is* userspace, we can do what we like, and we
> I don't have specific input on the rest of this discussion, but I disagree
> strongly with this statement.  The environment in which python programs
> run, ie: the python runtime and standard library, are *our* "userspace",
> and the same constraints apply to our making changes there as apply
> to the linux kernel and its userspace...even though we knowingly break
> those constraints from time to time[*].
> --David
> [*] Which I think the twisted folks at least would argue we shouldn't
> be doing :)

I agree with David. We shouldn't break existing behavior in a way
that might lead to someone else's software being unusable.

Adding a new API that does block allows anyone to call that when
they want guaranteed random values, and the decision about whether
to block or not can be placed in the application developer's hands.

Christian's points about separating the various cases and solutions also
make sense.


More information about the Python-Dev mailing list