stderr is a lame hack?

Aahz aahz at
Fri Oct 26 02:14:21 CEST 2007

In article <mailman.148.1192221382.927.python-list at>,
Erik Jones  <erik at> wrote:
>So, I was just taking a look at and saw this:
>    Then running the module as a script will cause the examples in the
>    docstrings to get executed and verified:
>    python
>    This won't display anything unless an example fails, in which case the
>    failing example(s) and the cause(s) of the failure(s) are printed to
>    stdout (why not stderr? because stderr is a lame hack <0.2 wink>), and
>    the final line of output is "Test failed.".
>What does he mean by stderr being a lame hack?

Lessee, I can occasionally channel Guido, maybe I can channel Uncle

First of all, you have to remember that Uncle Timmy is an Evil Windows
abuser.  Things that seem perfectly sane and normal to the rest of us
look like chaos and cruft to him (and vice-versa, of course).

The problem with stderr is that unless you understand it (which is
pretty straightforward to anyone who has drunk the Unix Kool-Aid), you
can get all kinds of unexpected output results, especially under
redirection.  Without redirection, there's no way to differentiate the
combined stdout/stderr stream; contrariwise, if you redirect just stdout
with the intention of recording your test run, you'll be missing the
stderr stream in your log.
Aahz (aahz at           <*>

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