python-dev Summary for 2003-12-01 through 2003-12-31

Brett bac at OCF.Berkeley.EDU
Sun Jan 11 05:38:26 CET 2004


python-dev Summary for 2003-12-01 through 2003-12-31
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
This is a summary of traffic on the `python-dev mailing list`_ from 
December 1, 2003 through December 31, 2003.  It is intended to inform 
the wider Python community of on-going developments on the list.  To 
comment on anything mentioned here, just post to `comp.lang.python`_ (or 
email python-list at python.org which is a gateway to the newsgroup) with a 
subject line mentioning what you are discussing. All python-dev members 
are interested in seeing ideas discussed by the community, so don't 
hesitate to take a stance on something.  And if all of this really 
interests you then get involved and join `python-dev`_!

This is the thirty-first and -second summaries written by Brett Cannon 
(a friend of a friend actually reads this thing!  Hi, Elle).

To contact me, please send email to brett at python.org ; I do not have 
the time to keep up on comp.lang.python and thus do not always catch 
follow-ups posted there.

All summaries are archived at http://www.python.org/dev/summary/ .

Please note that this summary is written using reStructuredText_ which 
can be found at http://docutils.sf.net/rst.html .  Any unfamiliar 
punctuation is probably markup for reST_ (otherwise it is probably 
regular expression syntax or a typo =); you can safely ignore it, 
although I suggest learning reST; it's simple and is accepted for `PEP 
markup`_ and gives some perks for the HTML output.  Also, because of the 
wonders of programs that like to reformat text, I cannot guarantee you 
will be able to run the text version of this summary through Docutils_ 
as-is unless it is from the original text file.

.. _PEP Markup: http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0012.html

The in-development version of the documentation for Python can be found 
at http://www.python.org/dev/doc/devel/ and should be used when looking 
up any documentation on something mentioned here.  PEPs (Python 
Enhancement Proposals) are located at http://www.python.org/peps/ .  To 
view files in the Python CVS online, go to 
http://cvs.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/python/ .  Reported bugs 
and suggested patches can be found at the SourceForge_ project page.

The `Python Software Foundation`_ is the non-profit organization that 
holds the intellectual property for Python.  It also tries to forward 
the development and use of Python.  But the PSF cannot do this without 
donations.  You can make a donation at 
http://python.org/psf/donations.html .  Every penny helps so even a 
small donation (you can donate through PayPal or by check) helps.

.. _python-dev: http://www.python.org/dev/
.. _SourceForge: http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=5470
.. _python-dev mailing list: 
http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-dev
.. _comp.lang.python: http://groups.google.com/groups?q=comp.lang.python
.. _Docutils: http://docutils.sf.net/
.. _reST:
.. _reStructuredText: http://docutils.sf.net/rst.html
.. _Python Software Foundation: http://python.org/psf/

.. contents::

.. _last summary: 
http://www.python.org/dev/summary/2003-10-16_2003-11-15.html


=====================
Summary Announcements
=====================
Sorry if this summary comes off as light, but I caught the flu the week 
of Christmas and it developed into walking pneumonia which I still have.

On a more positive note, PyCon is hitting its stride.  Online 
registration is available at http://pycon.org/dc2004 and early bird 
registration ends January 31.  Online talk proposal submission is online 
at http://submit.pycon.org/  and the deadline is January 15.


=========
Summaries
=========
----------------------------
2.3.3 released to the masses
----------------------------
`Python 2.3.3`_ has gone out the door.  Thanks to Anthony Baxter for 
being release manager (again!) and to all of python-dev and anyone who 
contributed code for this release.  With this being a bugfix release 
this supercedes 2.3.2 and thus people should upgrade if possible.

.. _Python 2.3.3: http://python.org/2.3.3/

Contributing threads:
   - `2.3.3 cycle 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040550.html>`__
   - `release23-maint branch CLOSED for release 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040852.html>`__
   - `Berkeley support in release23-maint 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041004.html>`__
   - `RELEASED Python 2.3.3 (release candidate 1) 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040740.html>`__
   - `2.3.3 portability audit 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041167.html>`__
   - `2.3.3 and beyond 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041183.html>`__
   - `RELEASED Python 2.3.3 (final) 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041286.html>`__
   - `status of 2.3 branch for maintenance checkins 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041424.html>`__


----------------------------------
Pie-thon competition work ramps up
----------------------------------
`Dan Sugalski`_, project leader of the Parrot_ VM that will be used for 
`Perl 6`_, reminded the list that the benchmark to be used for the 
`Pie-thon`_ needed to be written since the bytecode for the benchmark 
needed to be frozen.

So Guido wrote some benchmarks.  They are in CVS under 
nondist/sandbox/parrotbench .

.. _Dan Sugalski: http://www.sidhe.org/~dan/blog/
.. _Parrot: http://www.parrotcode.org/
.. _Perl 6: http://dev.perl.org/perl6/
.. _Pie-thon: http://www.sidhe.org/~dan/blog/archives/000219.html

Contributing threads:
   - `Merry December 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040613.html>`__
   - `Pie-thon benchmarks 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040963.html>`__
   - `Pie-thon benchmark code ready 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041527.html>`__


--------------
PyCon is a go!
--------------
http://www.pycon.org/ has gone live!  Registration_ is live (early-bird 
ends January 31)!  Online talk proposal submission is live (deadline is 
January 15)!

.. _Registration: http://www.pycon.org/dc2004

Contributing threads:
   - `PyCon DC 2004 - Registration about to open! 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040553.html>`__
   - `PyCon DC 2004 - Submissions Now Open 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041012.html>`__


----------------------------------------
operator gains attrgetter and itemgetter
----------------------------------------
The operator module has now gained two new functions: attrgetter and 
itemgetter "which are useful for creating fast data extractor functions 
for map(), list.sort(), itertools.groupby(), and other functions that 
expect a function argument" according to Misc/NEWS .

Contributing threads:
   - `Re: "groupby" iterator 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040590.html>`__


-------------------
CObjects and safety
-------------------
Michael Hudson pointed out how CObjects could be misused in Python code. 
  Various ideas of how to make them safer by checking that the proper 
CObject was passed were proposed.  The thread seemed to end without a 
resolution, though.

Contributing threads:
   - `are CObjects inherently unsafe? 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040702.html>`__


-----------------
Unicode is a pain
-----------------
Want proof?  How about the fact that you can store a character like "ä" 
either as two characters ("a" followed by "previous character has an 
umlaut") or as one ("a with an umlaut").  The former is called 
"decomposed normal form" and is used in OS X.  Windows, of course, uses 
the latter version.

Contributing threads:
   - `test_unicode_file failing on Mac OS X 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040778.html>`__


------------------
Two new developers
------------------
Hye-Shik Chang has become a developer.  You probably know him from his 
work on the CJK codecs.  He is now an official developer.

Vinay Sajip, implementor of the logging package has also been granted 
CVS checkin rights.

Contributing threads:
   - `New developer 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040808.html>`__


------------------------
Compiling 2.4 under .NET
------------------------
Martin v. Löwis has started sandbox work on an MSI installer and moving 
Python 2.4 over to VC 7.

Contributing threads:
   - `Py2.4 pre-alpha snapshot 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040784.html>`__
   - `First version of Python MSI available 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041451.html>`__
   - `Switching to VC.NET 2003 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041452.html>`__


-----------------------------
New method flag: METH_COEXIST
-----------------------------
Raymond Hettinger, in his continual pursuit of speed, came up with a new 
method flag, METH_COEXIST, which causes a method to be used in place of 
a slot wrapper.  The example that actually led to this is __contains__: 
a PyCFunction defining __contains__ tends to be faster than one in the 
sq_contains slot thanks to METH_O and other tricks.

Contributing threads:
   - `FW: METH_COEXIST 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040940.html>`__


------------------------------
Better relative import support
------------------------------
There was a huge discussion on a better way to handle relative imports 
(think of the situation where you have your module ``import sys`` and 
you happen to have a module named sys in the same directory; should that 
local module be imported or the sys module from the stdlib?).  Luckily 
Aahz volunteered to write a PEP on the whole thread so I am being spared 
from having to summarize the thing.  =)  Thanks, Aahz.

Contributing threads:
   - `Re: Christmas Wishlist 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/040973.html>`__
   - `Re: Python-Dev Digest, Vol 5, Issue 57 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041078.html>`__
   - `Relative import 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041065.html>`__
   - `Another Strategy for Relative Import 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041418.html>`__


------------------------------
list.sorted becomes a built-in
------------------------------
Just as the title says, list.sorted has now been moved out of the list 
type and has been made a built-in.

Contributing threads:
   - `python/dist/src/Python bltinmodule.c,2.304,2.305 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041129.html>`__


--------------------------------
What to do with old Python code?
--------------------------------
Someone rewrote the bisect module in C.  This brought up the question of 
what to do with the old Python version.  Some suggest moving it to the 
Demo directory.  Others suggest keeping the code but importing the C 
version in the Python module.  The idea of keeping both was quickly shot 
down, though, like in the pickle/cPickle situation.

This discussion is still going at this time.

Contributing threads:
   - `SF patch 864863: Bisect C implementation 
<http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2003-December/041511.html>`__




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