Python Standardization: Wikipedia entry

Daniel Fetchinson fetchinson at
Fri Feb 1 09:07:52 CET 2008

> Depends entirely on the operative meaning of standardized.  Formal
> standards body? Obviously no.
> Specified in a standard-setting document? Yes.  In fact, in someways,
> Python is better standardized that C, for instance, in that the Python
> standard usefully standardizes some things that the C standard leaved
> unstandardized as 'implementation defined'.

Unstandardized and undefined are two different things. If the standard
says "this is implementation defined AKA undefined" is just as clear
and unambiguous as saying "this is defined so and so". Both statement
are equally clear as to determine if a code conforms to the standard
or not. The purpose of a standard is not to define everything but
define clearly certain things and make it equality clear what is not
defined and is left as an implementation detail.

> Example 1. Order of evaluation of function arguments.  Python: left to
> right.  C: undefined (and unstandardized), I believe.
> Example 2: Strings for Infinity and Not-A-Number.  Python: will standardize
> in 2.6 to hide the variation in C implementations (or is Microsoft just
> non-compliant here?).

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