What's missing from python?

Paul Rubin http
Tue Mar 23 00:20:47 CET 2004


Peter Hickman <peter at semantico.com> writes:
> > Python advertises a "batteries included" approach to the library which
> > means it's supposed to include most of the stuff that users need,
> > instead of making them download the stuff from random places.
> 
> The 'batteries included' stuff is more a distribution / packaging
> issue than the standard library. At least coming from Tcl where we
> have a 'batteries included' distribution including all sorts of nice
> things. However this does not mean that they are part of the standard
> library.

Well, the contents of the standard library certainly sounds like a
distribution/packaging issue to me.  

> Simple feature / library count as a measure of progress is flawed. Big
> time need not equate with bloat, besides Perl has a massive library of
> modules (CPAN) but they are not part of the standard library and this
> has not held Perl back.

When there's enough stuff written for Python, maybe it will also get
something like CPAN.  However, CPAN is somewhat of a pain in the neck
compared to just including the needed stuff.  People do ask all the
time for a super-sized Perl distribution that includes everything from
CPAN, or includes lots more CPAN stuff than the standard distro does,
or even for a simple CD-ROM dump of the CPAN contents.

> We need to recognize the divide between language features and a basic
> distribution. A 'batteries included' distribution of Python, a la Tcl,
> which includes a selection of useful libraries is a good idea but
> there is no need to make it part of the standard library.
> 
> I want my Python in a Nutshell to be a single volume not an encyclopedia.

For sure, there's some attractiveness to making three separate
distros: minimal, normal (like the current one), and encyclopedic.
However, that's a lot of work, so the current strategy seems to be to
have one distro that strikes a reasonable balance between minimal and
encyclopedic, providing enough stuff to meet the needs of application
implementers in Python's targeted areas.  Right now there are
significant gaps in the library but with luck that will improve over
time.



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