[Python-ideas] Built-in parsing library

Stephen J. Turnbull turnbull.stephen.fw at u.tsukuba.ac.jp
Mon Apr 1 10:24:55 EDT 2019

David Mertz writes:

 > OK, I'll acknowledge my comment might have overstated the bar to overcome.
 > A parser added to the standard library doesn't need to be perfect for
 > everyone.  But adding to stdlib *does* provide a kind of endorsement of the
 > right default way to go about things.

Indeed it does, but TOOWTDI is not absolute.

 > However, cross-cutting that formal power issue, there are two main
 > programming styles used by different libraries.

I concede this tends to raise the bar quite a bit.

 > Something in the standard library would have to be partisan in
 > selecting one particular approach as the "official" one.

Perhaps.  Even there, though, we have an example: XML.  We gotcher
SAX, we gotcher DOM, we gotcher ElementTree, we gotcher expat.

I think XML processing is probably a *lot* more used and in a lot more
modes than general parsing.  But the analogy is valid, even though I
can't say it's powerful *enough*.

There definitely is a bar to clear.  I don't know if it's worth Nam's
effort to try to clear it -- there's no guarantee of success on
something like this.  I just think we shouldn't be *too* discouraging.
And I personally think parsing formal languages is an important enough
field to deserve consideration for stdlib inclusion, even if it's not
going to be used every day.


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