[Python-Dev] Why does base64 return bytes?

Random832 random832 at fastmail.com
Wed Jun 15 00:29:06 EDT 2016

On Tue, Jun 14, 2016, at 22:58, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> The RFC is unclear on this point, but I read it as specifying the
> ASCII coded character set, not the ASCII repertoire of (abstract)
> characters.  Therefore, it specifies an invertible mapping from a
> particular set of integers to characters.

There are multiple descriptions of base 64 that specifically mention
using it with EBCDIC and with local character sets of unspecified

>  > The intention is clearly to represent binary data as *text*.
> It's more subtle than that.  *RFCs do not deal with text.*  Text is
> an internal concept of (some) programming environments.

It's also a human concept. Plenty of RFCs deal with human concept rather
than purely programming topics.

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