[Python-ideas] Add a builtin method to 'int' for base/radix conversion

Yuvgoog Greenle ubershmekel at gmail.com
Fri Sep 11 17:16:50 CEST 2009

Does anybody have any more use cases, ideas or suggestions? I'm getting the
feeling this suggestion is +0 to most people and +1 for the rest. I'm pretty
new to these mailing lists so does that mean a yes or a no?

On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 6:47 PM, MRAB <python at mrabarnett.plus.com> wrote:

> Masklinn wrote:
>> On 31 Aug 2009, at 15:00 , Nick Coghlan wrote:
>> Yuvgoog Greenle wrote:
>>> I believe int(s, base) needs an inverse function to allow string
>>>> representation with different bases. An example use case is 'hashing' a
>>>> counter like video ID's on youtube, you could use a regular int
>>>> internally and publish a shorter base-62 id
>>>> for links.
>>>> This subject was discussed 2.5 years ago:
>>>> http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2006-January/059789.html
>>>> I opened a feature request ticket:
>>>> http://bugs.python.org/issue6783
>>>> Some of the questions that remain:
>>>> 1. Whether this should be a method for int or a regular function in a
>>>> standard library module like math.
>>>> 2. What should the method/function be called? (base_convert, radix, etc)
>>>> What do you guys think?
>>> This has been coming up for years and always gets bogged down in a
>>> spelling argument (a method on int, a function in the math module and an
>>> update to the str.format mini language would be the current contenders).
>>> However, most of the actual real use cases for bases between 2 and 36
>>> were dealt with by the addition of binary and octal output to string
>>> formatting so the impetus to do anything about it is now a lot lower.
>>> As far as bases between 37 and 62 go, that would involve first getting
>>> agreement on extending int() to handle those bases by allowing case
>>> sensitive digit parsing. Presumably that would use string lexical
>>> ordering so that int('a', 37) > int('A', 37) and int('b', 37) would
>>> raise an exception.
>>> That would only be intuitive to someone that knows how ASCII based
>>> alphanumeric ordering works though.
> ASCII? Surely it should be Unicode! :-)
>  Or it could be handled via a translation table (needed both ways of
>> course) mapping n indexes to n characters (with n the base you're working
>> with), defaulting to something sane.
>>  The default could cover only bases 2 to 36. Any base > 36 would require
> a user-supplied translation table.
>  Though I'm not sure this is of much interest really: even Erlang (which
>> provides pretty good base conversion tools: it supports literal integers of
>> any base between 2 and 36) doesn't natively support bases beyond 36. A
>> library would probably be better for those more conflictual (or less
>> intuitive) ranges.
>>  It could permit a dict as the translation table when 'decoding' so that
> both 'A' and 'a' could be mapped to 10, if necessary.
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