Guido rethinking removal of cmp from sort method

geremy condra debatem1 at
Fri Apr 1 23:31:09 CEST 2011

On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 7:13 PM, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:


> Or, an alternative approach would be for one of the cmp-supporters to
> take the code for Python's sort routine, and implement your own sort-with-
> cmp (in C, of course, a pure Python solution will likely be unusable) and
> offer it as a download. For anyone who knows how to do C extensions, this
> shouldn't be hard: just grab the code in Python 2.7 and make it a stand-
> alone function that can be imported.
> If you get lots of community interest in this, that is a good sign that
> the solution is useful and practical, and then you can push to have it
> included in the standard library or even as a built-in.
> And if not, well, at least you will be able to continue using cmp in your
> own code.

I don't have a horse in this race, but I do wonder how much of Python
could actually survive this test. My first (uneducated) guess is "not
very much"- we would almost certainly lose large pieces of the string
API and other builtins, and I have no doubt at all that a really
significant chunk of the standard library would vanish as well. In
fact, looking at the data I took from PyPI a while back, it's pretty
clear that Python's feature set would look very different overall if
we applied this test to everything.

Geremy Condra

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