Python does not play well with others

Steve Holden steve at
Thu Jan 25 10:16:18 CET 2007

Kay Schluehr wrote:
> On 25 Jan., 04:46, "Paul Boddie" <p... at> wrote:
>>>   That's because, in those worlds, either the
>>> development team for the language or the development team
>>> for the subsystem takes responsibility for making them work.
>>> Only Python doesn't do that.And this is where I'd almost reach agreement with you. It's not enough
>> for the language to keep growing new features if the libraries are
>> broken or appear archaic, and this task seems to be outside the "core
>> developers" area of interest.
> But it shouldn't be - although this is not a request for the core
> developers to maintain any 3rd party package in the world, of course. A
> while ago someone on python-dev suggested to use builtbot to monitor
> were 3rd party packages get broken by new Python releases and offered
> this as a service to library developers. I do think this and similar
> ideas are relevant to improve overall quality, not only that of the
> CPython interpreter. I would also suggest stricter policies for PyPI
> were unmaintained packages might be removed after a period ( or at
> least tagged in a certain way ).
> But maybe admitting quality problems of free software that is affecting
> the whole community ( and not just isolated projects ) is just too much
> negative PR on a "competitive language market"? We all know Ruby makes
> us happy and Haskell is driven by real academics, who are doing
> software engineering right, by default. Maybe Python could survive only
> leaving the impression that it binds to everything and has an ever
> growing code base of high quality?
Looking at the history of the bug, it ends with a request from Martin 
von Loewis that James Eagan (the author of the patch, for which we 
should be grateful) provide unit tests and documentation to go with the 
code already contributed, finally followed by a comment from James that 
it will be a while before he has time to make the necessary changes.

I don't think there's any attempt here to avoid admitting that there's a 
quality problem with the existing code. Adding new functionality without 
tests and documentation certainly wouldn't improve things.

Steve Holden       +44 150 684 7255  +1 800 494 3119
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