Python usage numbers

jmfauth wxjmfauth at
Sun Feb 12 20:52:46 CET 2012

There is so much to say on the subject, I do not know
where to start. Some points.

Today, Sunday, 12 February 2012, 90%, if not more, of the
Python applications supposed to work with text and I'm toying
with are simply not working. Two reasons:
1) Most of the devs understand nothing or not enough on the
field of the coding of the characters.
2) In gui applications, most of the devs understand
nothing or not enough in the keyboard keys/chars handling.


I know Python since version 1.5.2 or 1.5.6 (?). Among the
applications I wrote, my fun is in writing GUI interactive
interpreters with Python 2 or 3, tkinter, Tkinter, wxPython,
PySide, PyQt4 on Windows.

Believe or not, my interactive interpreters are the only
ones where I can enter text and where text is displayed
correctly. IDLE, wxPython/PyShell, DrPython, ... all
are failing. (I do not count console applications).

Python popularity? I have no popularity-meter. What I know:
I can not type French text in IDLE on Windows. It is like
this since ~ten years and I never saw any complain about
this. (The problem in bad programmation).

Ditto for PyShell in wxPython. I do not count, the number of
corrections I proposed. In one version, it takes me 18 months
until finally decided to propose a correction. During this
time, I never heard of the problem. (Now, it is broken


Is there a way to fix this actual status?
- Yes, and *very easily*.

Will it be fixed?
- No, because there is no willingness to solve it.


Roy Smith's quote: "... that we'll all just be
using UTF-32, ..."

Considering PEP 393, Python is not taking this road.


How many devs know, one can not write text in French with
the iso-8859-1 coding? (see pep 393)

How can one explain, corporates like MS or Apple with their
cp1252 or mac-roman codings succeeded to know this?

Ditto for foundries (Adobe, LinoType, ...)


Python is 20 years old. It was developped with ascii in
mind. Python was not born, all this stuff was already
a no problem with Windows and VB.
Even a step higher, Windows was no born, this was a no
problem at DOS level (eg TurboPascal), 30 years ago!

Design mistake.


Python 2 introduced the <unicode> type. Very nice.
Problem. The introduction of the automatic coercion
ascii-"unicode", which somehow breaks everything.

Very bad design mistake. (In my mind, the biggest one).


One day, I fell on the web on a very old discussion
about Python related to the introduction of unicode in
Python 2. Something like:

Python core dev (it was VS or AP): "... lets go with ucs-4
and we have no problem in the future ...".

Look at the situation today.


And so one.


Conclusion. A Windows programmer is better served by
downloading VB.NET Express. A end Windows user is
better served with an application developped with VB.NET

I find somehow funny, Python is able to produce this:

>>> (1.1).hex()

and on the other side, Python, Python applications,
are not able to deal correctly with text entering
and text displaying. Probably, the two most important
tasks a "computer" has to do!


PS I'm not a computer scientist, only a computer user.

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