python for everyday tasks

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Mon Nov 25 16:38:40 CET 2013

On Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 2:11 AM, Michael Torrie <torriem at> wrote:
> Have you encountered a real-world situation
> where you are impacted by Python's FSR?

Python 3.3 was released back in September 2012, over a year ago. As
far as python-list can be aware, nobody - but nobody - has had any
problem with it except for jmf. I'm not entirely sure how this works -
it's fundamentally flawed for him, yet brilliant for everyone else.
Must be some sort of Bermuda Triangle effect around him, I think;
whatever it is, chaos scientists doubtless want to explore this.

Of course, a year isn't all that long, in computing. A 1GHz CPU core
can process about 3E16 instructions in that time. Maybe that's just
not sufficient evaluation time. Well, Pike's had the same
functionality - variable-width strings - since... well, I can't be
100% sure, but I found a reference to the size_shift field (1 for
8-bit, 2 for 16-bit, 3 for 32-bit) in a commit dated 1998, so I think
that's probably about when it was added. Somehow this concept has been
around and not breaking stuff for 15 years, and now it breaks all
jmf's code. There must be something very strange going on here, and I
really think it warrants investigation.

(Fifteen years. It's seventeen years since Unicode 2.0, when 16-bit
characters were outmoded. It's about time _every_ modern language
followed Python's and Pike's lead and got its Unicode support right.)


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