[Python-ideas] Add __main__ for uuid, random and urandom

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Sat Apr 2 01:09:30 EDT 2016

Joao S. O. Bueno writes:

 > Anyway - back to the thread - it does not seen a bad idea for me at all.

I think it's a waste of time: an invitation to endless bikeshedding
and a slippery slope to very half-baked attempts at full-featured
utilities in the module's "__main__" section.  It won't be consistent,
as many modules already have test code in there, although I suppose
you could move that functionality to a "test" command (at the expense
of breaking existing "install and test" scripts).  Finally to the
extent that the feature itself is pretty consistently present, people
are going to demand that their favorite options be one-linable, and
that pretty much every module grow one-line-abilty.

Whatever happened to "not every 3-liner need be builtin"?

The suggested scripts also seem, uh, of incredibly marginal
usefulness.  Except for calendar, but there, the desirable set of
options is huge (did you know that many Japanese like their weeks to
start with Monday, for example? and that some people care about the
Mayan calendar? or of more relevance, different base years -- in Japan
it's Year 28 of the Heisei Emperor).  Alexander was right as to the
ultimate goal (full implementations of POSIX date or GNU calendar plus
whatever extensions might seem useful).  But if you do more than one
or two of those, you're going to end up with a confusing mishmash of
CLI syntaxes, with a long script invocation: "python -m calendar ...".

That said, your earlier idea taken one step farther seems like the
best way to go: create a module oneline[1], put the functionality
in there, put it on PyPI, and you can start lobbying for stdlib
inclusion in 2018.

Or better yet, create a pysh script[2] so you can omit the "-m".  An
advantage to this is that you can create an API, a module-level
variable such as "one_line_subcommands", which would contain a dict of
name-function pairs that pysh could look for and run.  You could also
have a global directory in pysh so that pysh can override those
stubborn module maintainers who won't add your favorite one-liner to

The best idea of all, perhaps, is

# echo >> /etc/shells /usr/bin/python
# chsh -s /usr/bin/python <your login>

(Sorry, Windows users, I don't know the equivalent there.)  Or make
that ipython for even more shellshocking convenience.

[1]  Too bad it can't be called "1line".  "oneln" is a little shorter.

[2]  ISTR that name is already taken but can't think of a better one.
"py1line" maybe?

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