Python usage numbers

Dave Angel d at
Sun Feb 12 23:50:12 CET 2012

On 02/12/2012 05:30 PM, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> On Sun, 12 Feb 2012 05:11:30 -0600, Andrew Berg wrote:
>> On 2/12/2012 3:12 AM, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> <snip>
>>> Windows has two separate APIs, one for "wide" characters, the other for
>>> single bytes. Depending on which one you use, the directory will appear
>>> to be called Наӥв or 0å2.
>> Yes, and AFAIK, the wide API is the default. The other one only exists
>> to support programs that don't support the wide API (generally, such
>> programs were intended to be used on older platforms that lack that
>> API).
> I'm not sure that "default" is the right word, since (as far as I know)
> both APIs have different spelling and the coder has to make the choice
> whether to call function X or function Y. Perhaps you mean that Microsoft
> encourages the wide API and makes the single-byte API available for
> legacy reasons?

When I last looked, the pair of functions were equivalently available, 
and neither one was named the way you'd expect.  One had a suffix of A 
and the other had a suffix of W (guess which was which).  C header 
definitions used #define to define the actual functions, and the 
preprocessor effectively stuck A's on all of them or W's on all of 
them.  Very bulky, but buried in some MS header files.

Other languages were free to use either or both.  VB used just the W 
versions, as I presume java does.

But the interesting point was that for most of these functions, the A 
versions were native on Win95-derived OS'es, while the W versions were 
native on NT-derived OS's.  There were translation DLL's which supplied 
the secondary versions.  So in the old days it was more efficient to use 
the A versions.  No longer true, since as far as I know, nobody that 
still uses Win ME, Win98, or Win95 is targeted for much new programming.



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