[Python-ideas] format specifier for "not bytes"

Daniel Holth dholth at gmail.com
Fri Aug 24 19:26:49 CEST 2012

While I was implementing JSON-JWS (JSON web signatures), a format
which in Python 3 has to go from bytes > unicode > bytes > unicode
several times in its construction, I notice I wrote a lot of bugs:


When I meant to say:


Everything worked perfectly on Python 3 because the verifying code
also generated the sha256=b'abcdef1234' as a comparison. I would have
never noticed at all unless I had tried to verify the Python 3 output
with Python 2.

I know I'm a bad person for not having unit tests capable enough to
catch this bug, a bug I wrote repeatedly in each layer of the bytes >
unicode > bytes > unicode dance, and that there is no excuse for being
confused at any time about the type of a variable, but I'm not willing
to reform.

Instead, I would like a new string formatting operator tentatively
called 'notbytes': "sha256=%notbytes" % (b'abcdef1234'). It gives the
same error as 'sha256='+b'abc1234' would: TypeError: Can't convert
'bytes' object to str implictly

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