python-dev Summary for 2004-12-01 through 2004-12-15
bac at OCF.Berkeley.EDU
Sun Jan 23 20:49:06 CET 2005
This is a summary of traffic on the `python-dev mailing list`_ from December
01, 2004 through December 15, 2004. 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
This is the fifty-fourth summary written by Brett Cannon (amazed no one has
complained about the lateness of these summaries!).
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
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 new code; otherwise use the current documentation as found at
http://docs.python.org/ . 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/
.. _reStructuredText: http://docutils.sf.net/rst.html
.. _Python Software Foundation: http://python.org/psf/
.. _last summary: http://www.python.org/dev/summary/2004-11-16_2004-11-30.html
.. _original text file: http://www.python.org/dev/summary/2004-12-01_2004-12-15.ht
PyCon_ 2005 planning is well underway. The schedule has been posted at
http://www.python.org/pycon/2005/schedule.html and looks great with a quite the
varied topics. And there is still time for the early-bird registration price
of $175 ($125 students) before it expires on January 28th.
Some day I will be all caught up with the Summaries...
.. _PyCon: http://www.pycon.org
PEPS: those existing and gestating
[for emails on PEP updates, subscribe to python-checkins_ and choose the 'PEP'
A proto-PEP covering the __source__ proposal from the `last summary`_ has been
posted to python-dev.
`PEP 338`_ proposes how to modify the '-m' modifier so as to be able to execute
modules contained within packages.
.. _python-checkins: http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-checkins
.. _PEP 338: http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0338.html
- `PEP: __source__ proposal
- `PEP 338: Executing modules inside packages with '-m'
The xmllib module was deprecated but not listed in `PEP 4`_. What does one do?
Well, this led to a long discussion on how to handle module deprecation.
With the 'warning' module now in existence, PEP 4 seemed to be less important.
It was generally agreed that listing modules in PEP 4 was no longer needed.
It was also agreed that deleting deprecated modules was not needed; it breaks
code and disk space is cheap.
It seems that no longer listing documentation and adding a deprecation warning
is what is needed to properly deprecate a module. By no longer listing
documentation new programmers will not use the code since they won't know about
it. And adding the warning will let old users know that they should be using
.. _PEP 4: http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0004.html
- `Deprecated xmllib module
- `Rewriting PEP4
PR to fight the idea that Python is "slow"
An article_ in ACM TechNews that covered 2.4 had several mentions that Python
was "slow" while justifying the slowness (whether it be flexibility or being
fast enough). Guido (rightfully) didn't love all of the "slow" mentions which
I am sure we have all heard at some point or another.
The suggestions started to pour in on how to combat this. The initial one was
to have a native compiler. The thinking was that if we compiled to a native
executable that people psychologically would stop the association of Python
being interpreted which is supposed to be slow. Some people didn't love this
idea since a native compiler is not an easy thing. Others suggested including
Pyrex with CPython, but didn't catch on (maintenance issue plus one might say
Pyrex is not the most Pythonic solution). This didn't get anywhere in the end
beyond the idea of a SIG about the various bundling tools (py2app, py2exe, etc.).
The other idea was to just stop worrying about speed and move on stomping out
bugs and making Python functionally more useful. With modules in the stdlib
being rewritten in C for performance reasons it was suggested we are putting
out the perception that performance is important to us. Several other people
also suggested that we just not mention speed as a big deal in release notes
This also tied into the idea that managers don't worry too much about speed as
much as being able to hire a bunch of Python programmers. This led to the
suggestion of also emphasizing that Python is very easy to learn and thus is a
moot point. There are a good number of Python programmers, though; Stephan
Deibel had some rough calculations that put the number at about 750K Python
developers worldwide (give or take; rough middle point of two different
.. _article: http://gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/28026-1.html
- `2.4 news reaches interesting places
- MS VC compiler versions
- Any reason why CPPFLAGS not used in compiling?
Extension modules now compile with directories specified in the LDFLAGS
and CPPFLAGS env vars
- adding key argument to min and max
min and max now have a 'key' argument like list.sort
- Unicode in doctests
- SRE bug and notifications
- PyInt_FromLong returning NULL
- PyOS_InputHook enhancement proposal
- The other Py2.4 issue
- MinGW And The other Py2.4 issue
- Supporting Third Party Modules
- Python in education
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