[Python-ideas] Proposal: Moratorium on Python language changes

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Wed Oct 21 20:27:23 CEST 2009

On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 11:14 AM, Bruce Frederiksen <dangyogi at gmail.com> wrote:
> I might suggest that changes to correct "bugs" in the language definition
> (and I don't just mean the documentation) should still be allowed.

Depends on your definition of "bug". I would like to see this on a
case-by-case basis.

> I'd like to also point out that the import mechanism (including the concept
> of the python path, packages, and module initialization) seems to still be
> messy.  For example, getting two copies of the same module when imported
> with and without a package prefix, and weird import ordering dependencies.

Well, for better or for worse, changing that is *also* going to be
messy and a compatibility nightmare. To some extent the details of the
import mechanism is up to the implementation anyway, so this may not
realistically be affected by the moratorium. If you want to discuss
these issues in detail I recommend that you start a new thread and be
prepared to hear "but that's just pilot error" about many of the
perceived "bugs".

> I guess these would be covered under the "bugs in the language definition"
> above.  I've wondered too about opening up the whole import process with
> more hooks to allow other notions of "compiling" and "loading" (for example,
> being able to import pickles of complex object networks that have been
> created through some other "compile" process that might still need file
> modification times checked, but with different file suffixes).  This might
> help to give some degree of extensibility and support for domain specific
> languages, for example.

Actually, I think we already have enough import hooks, and this is an
area where I would tread very carefully. There is nothing stopping
people from using these mechanisms now, but still they are rarely used
-- I don't expect that adding new types of hooks will change that.

> I agree that Python will gain much more through better implementations than
> through further additions to the language.  (And I don't mean to put down
> the CPython implementation in any way, it's carried us all a very long
> way!)  Excluding the C implementation from the moratorium makes sense.
> +1
> -Bruce

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)

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