[Python-Dev] Why does base64 return bytes?

Random832 random832 at fastmail.com
Tue Jun 14 13:45:00 EDT 2016

On Tue, Jun 14, 2016, at 13:05, Joao S. O. Bueno wrote:
> Sorry, it is 2016, and I don't think at this point anyone can consider
> an ASCII string
> as a representative pattern of textual data in any field of application.
> Bytes are not text. Bytes with an associated, meaningful, encoding are
> text.
>   I thought this had been through when Python 3 was out.

Of all the things that anyone has said in this thread, this makes the
*least* contextual sense. The input to base64 encoding, which is what is
under discussion, is not text in any way. It is images, it is zip files,
it is executables, it could be the output of os.urandom (at least,
provided it doesn't block ;) for all anyone cares.

The *output* is only an ascii string in the sense that it is a text
string consisting of characters within (a carefully chosen subset of)
ASCII's repertoire, but the output wasn't what he was claiming should be
bytes in the sentence you replied to. Is your objection to the phrase
"ascii string"?

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