killing a script

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Sun Sep 11 07:08:00 CEST 2011

Cameron Simpson wrote:

> On 10Sep2011 11:25, Steven D'Aprano <steve+comp.lang.python at>
> wrote:
> | Cameron Simpson wrote:
> | > My copy of the 2.7 docs says:
> | >   This is implemented by calling the Standard C function system(), and
> | >   has the same limitations.
> | > and sure enough, "man 3 system" says:
> | 
> | I don't consider having to look up documentation for a function in a
> | completely different language (in this case, C) as "documented behaviour
> | of os.system".
> You're kidding, surely? 

No, I meant exactly what I said, but I suspect that you misunderstood what I
said. I blame myself for not making myself more clear, sorry.

> A wrapper function for a system supplied function 
> should recite everything about the wrapped function's behaviour (including
> the system dependent stuff) in the wrapper doco?

Heavens no, I certainly don't mean that. That would be silly. 

What I mean is that in the context of discussing Python library
functions, "documented behaviour" refers to what the Python docs state,
namely the function docstring and the docs at (or
the 3.x version). Third-party documentation doesn't count: not blogs,
not "some guy sent me an email", and not documentation for other tools

So if you describe a feature of os.system as "documented", I'm going to
understand that as *Python* documentation. Hence my question about where it
is documented. If we're discussing external documentation, we should say so
up front: not all Python users are using CPython, and not all Python coders
know C and have access to the Linux man pages.


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