What's so funny? WAS Re: rotor replacement

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Tue Jan 25 21:15:48 CET 2005

phr at localhost.localdomain wrote:
> I hadn't thought there was any controversy over the technical side of
> this.

There isn't. The interface might be beautifully designed, and you might
claim it is, and I would *still* require that the module gets field
testing before being incorporated into Python. If other people start
attesting that the module is beatifully designed, and should be included
in the Python core - *then* it is worth looking into inclusion.

> I'm happy to have that kind of testing (and I requested it), given
> that the goal is inclusion in the core, and the core developers have
> told me (as they did) that the proposal looks good and they'd like to
> have the module, so I can reasonably expect it to go into the core if
> it meets its technical expectations.

Not if I have a say in it. *Any* new module should see out-of-the-core
distribution first (unless there is BDFL pronouncement to include it,
of course).

This really is a matter of development process, not of technical

> If the developers instead say (as they seemed to somewhat later) that
> because of legal/political concerns, there's no way the module can
> possibly go into the core no matter how good it is technically, then
> my motivation for writing the module dries up quite a bit.

I personally would not say that, although I can imagine that some people
do say that, and I would also defend an inclusion, and push compliance
the BXA requirements so we can legally export Python out of the

> Evidently not always.  And how would the CGI user create a binary
> anyway, even given a way to install it, if the web hosting service is
> using a platform that the CGI user doesn't have a compiler for?  Think
> of a Mac user whose web host runs Windows, or vice versa.

In either case, the user would best use the pre-compiled binary that
somebody else provided for the platform. Actually, the Windows user
using an OS X CGI server can probably just invoke the gcc which is
on the target system, anyway.

>>See, this is the critical point: "commonly-used functions", not
>>"functions I believe would be commonly used". You must have
>>*existing* users for a function to be commonly-used.
> You're going around in circles.

No, I'm merely repeating myself, and rephrasing each time.
I have to, because apparently you don't see what my requirement

> They have few Python users because the functions aren't available in
> Python.  To fix that, they must be added to Python.  How many users
> do you think the Python sha module had before it went into Python?

The original source code of the SHA-1 implementation is the NIST code
(Gutmann, then Hollerbach), so I guess that had hundreds of users before
the module was contributed to Python. The module itself (including the
API) was written by Greg Stein and Andrew Kuchling. I believe (without
being able to verify) that they distributed this module for quite some
time, before contributing it to Python. We would have to ask them
how many users they had until they felt confident to contribute the


Andrew Kuchling

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