[Python-ideas] Add from __experimental__ import bla [was: Should we move to replace re with regex?]

ron3200 ron3200 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 29 20:01:34 CEST 2011

On Mon, 2011-08-29 at 21:14 +1000, Nick Coghlan wrote:

> The essential idea here is to be able to add a feature, but flag the
> API as potentially unstable for an entire release cycle before
> promising to maintain the API in perpetuity. Early adopters would get
> *most* of python-dev's usual guarantees (which most PyPI packages
> don't offer), while more conservative types can use more stable
> alternatives.

> We'd still need to be careful not to throw any old rubbish in there,
> but as a phased introduction for things like "from __experimental__
> import ipaddr" (PEP 3144) and "from __experimental__ import re" (re
> replacement with regex, assuming someone steps up to write the PEP and
> eventual drop-in replacement looks feasible), the idea definitely has
> potential.

> The semantics of the new marker package would be to indicate that
> stuff is a little undercooked, but we've decided that it won't get
> enough exposure through PyPI (either through being too small to
> overcome NIH syndrome or else too closely coupled to a specific
> version of the interpreter). That's a completely different meaning, so
> we shouldn't reuse the same word.

>From the descriptions  in this thread, it sounds like  __experimental__
items will be pretty far on the way to inclusion.   And maybe the only
thing experimental about them is a few fine details that might be
changed before release.  (but probably won't be.) 

How often do you think things in __experimental__ will be aborted or

Another way to think about "experimental" items is to use it in the way
that science does.  ie... An experiment designed to discover
information, or test a very specific idea or theory.   In that context,
depending on the results of the experiment,  a particular feature my be
changed to take the results of the experiment into account. 

That's probably a bit too formal and restrictive, and it will be
difficult to do in a very controlled way.  The python community, and
Python itself, tends to thrive in a more relaxed and informal
atmosphere.   But it may not hurt to have some guide lines on how to do
a python "__experimental__" experiment so that it doesn't end up being a
series of trial and error attempts at something half baked.

Which do you think fits better with what you have in mind?




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