[Python-ideas] Meta-PEP about built-in functions

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Wed May 23 09:46:22 EDT 2018

On 23 May 2018 at 07:28, Jeroen Demeyer <J.Demeyer at ugent.be> wrote:

> Hello,
> Both PEP 573 and PEP 575 deal with built-in functions. Additionally, some
> people (Stefan Behnel, Robert Bradshaw, Jim Pivarski and me) are currently
> brainstorming about a yet-to-be-written PEP to allow calling the underlying
> C function of a built-in function using native types (for example, a C long
> instead of a Python int). Think of it as analogous to the buffer protocol:
> the buffer protocol exposes C *data* while this would expose C *callables*.
> Since all these PEPs would overlap somewhat, I'm starting to wonder about
> the best way to organize this. Ideally, I would like some kind of
> "meta-PEP" where we discuss the future of built-in functions in general
> terms without too much details. This would be followed by several PEPs each
> going in detail about one specific aspect.
> Is there a precedent for this? What do the seasoned Python developers
> think?

Probably the closest recent precedent would be PEPs 482 and 483, which laid
out some background material and concepts so that PEP 484 could reference
them, without needing to include them directly.

I think doing something like that for the C level callable API to describe
the status quo and the challenges it raises (both internally in CPython and
for third party projects like Cython) could be a very good way to go, as
that way the actual change proposals can focus on what they're proposing to
change and why, without each needing to include all the background details
regarding the specifics of the current situation.


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia
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