Is it just me, or is Sqlite3 goofy?

Steve Holden steve at
Wed Sep 6 09:41:15 CEST 2006

mensanator at wrote:
> skip at wrote:
>>>>I think your whole experience is based on it.
>>    >> But shouldn't a significant feature like that be explained in the
>>    >> Python manuals? Why should I go dig up Sqlite FAQs to learn what
>>    >> should have been in the manuals?
>>I don't know, but I will take a stab at a plausible explanation.  First,
>>sqlite support has only been in Python for a month or three.  Its first
>>official unveiling will be when 2.5 is released.
> Although possibly too late for the final release, now would be a
> good time to straighten out the documentation.
And you would be the best person to do it, since you're teh one this has 
bitten in the tender parts.

>>Second, it's common when
>>wrapping functionality into Python to rely on the documentation for the
>>thing being wrapped.  The thinner the wrapper, the more you tend to rely on
>>the underlying documentation.  Also, the more functionally rich the thing
>>you've wrapped, the more you rely on the underlying documentation.  I
>>wouldn't be at all surprised if the pysqlite author operated under that
> Ok, that's certainly plausible. But it's not an excuse. The thinner the
> documentation, the greater the emphasis should be made to point
> the reader to a more adequate source. Simply listing the Sqlite home
> page at the bottom of the page is hardly good enough. It should be
> explicitly stated in bold letters that the reader should go read the
> Sqlite FAQ because it radically differs from *real* databases and
> provide a seperate link to it in the body of the documentation.
Whoa, there! This isn't commercial software we are talking about. While 
I appreciate the need to continually better Python's documentation, the 
"should" implies a moral imperative that the (volunteer) developers are 
unikely to find compelling.
>>That the Python developers didn't pick up on the issue is not
>>surprising.  I'm not sure how many of them are (py)sqlite users, probably
>>relatively few.
> I would be surprised if they had never used ANY database. A little
> thing like dynamic field typing will simply make it impossible to
> migrate your Sqlite data to a *real* database.
> What I'll do is re-format my rant, suggest how *I* would do the
> documentation, fix the errors I found in the examples and send it
> off to the Python bug tracking as suggested in the manuals.
> How's that as a plan?

That's the ticket. Great idea. Changes to the documentation can be 
suggested in plain ASCII, you don't have to grok the LaTeX markup.

Steve Holden       +44 150 684 7255  +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC/Ltd
Skype: holdenweb
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