Python MSI not installing, log file showing name of a Viatnemese communist revolutionary

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Sat Mar 22 05:15:21 CET 2014

On Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM, Mark H Harris <harrismh777 at> wrote:
> On 3/21/14 5:44 PM, Mark Lawrence wrote:
>> I'm pleased to see that you have answers. In return would you either use
>> the mailing list or
>> read and action this to
>> prevent us seeing double line spacing and single line paragraphs, thanks.
> I perceive that this is your singular pet peeve, or, you were elected by the
> python community some time ago to police the line-end problem ?

Communities maintain standards by policing them. If nobody cares
enough to post, the problem will remain. He happens to be one of the
most frequent commenters on this particular issue, but believe you me,
he is not the only one to wish it were solved; I used to speak up too,
but became tired of saying it (and of the blowback), and now I ignore
all double-spaced junk. If I can't figure out what's going on without
the context, I'll just move on to the next post.

> I notice (since moving my stuff to Thunderbird two weeks back) the double
> spacing you keep squawking about, but I don't find it the big nuisance
> you're talking about; ok, so we have to scroll a bit further.

It compounds. One reply makes for double spacing... two makes
quadruple, three means we have seven wasted lines between every pair
of real lines. That gets pretty annoying. And considering that most
people who reply without cleaning up the lines also keep the entire
quoted text (and usually top-post as well), this gets big fast.

> I am honestly convinced that this might even be a python problem.  More
> likely than not, gg is written in python, and this is the goofy line-end
> character problem we have to deal with when we read lines in python.

No idea why you should think this; it's more likely to be based on
HTML parsing (newline -> paragraph -> double newline), especially
since the original text is usually unwrapped.

> Why do we suck in the new-line character as though it were part of the line?
> This is asinine behavior.  The new-line is a "file" delimiter character and
> NOT intended to be part of the line.
> Thinking this through a bit I've noticed that a blank line comes back with a
> '\n'  which differentiates it from file end which comes back "without" the
> new-line.  So, it appears that python is using the new-line character (or
> lack there-of) to have meaning which the new=line in a unix file was never
> suppose to carry.
> If python would just return EOF like every other language at file end, and a
> test line without '\n' tacked to the end of it, this little snag with gg
> would probably go away.  What say you?

Personally, I think that iterating over the lines in a file (in the
most obvious way) should strip delimiters. There should be a
less-obvious way to iterate over the "lines complete with their line
ends", which can then be used to distinguish between the different
line endings (including the absence of one at the end of the file),
but most of the time you want to just treat a file as a series of
lines, and don't care about the distinctions. However, that ship has
sailed; it's way WAY too late to make any such change.

And changing it would not fix the Google Groups problem unless it also
broke a whole pile of other code out there.


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