Cult-like behaviour [was Re: Kindness]

Roel Schroeven roel at
Mon Jul 16 18:41:01 EDT 2018

Chris Angelico schreef op 16/07/2018 23:57:
> On Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 7:50 AM, Roel Schroeven <roel at> wrote:
>> Steven D'Aprano schreef op 16/07/2018 2:18:
>>> On Sun, 15 Jul 2018 16:08:15 -0700, Jim Lee wrote:
>>>> Python3 is intrinsically tied to Unicode for string handling. Therefore,
>>>> the Python programmer is forced to deal with it (in all but trivial
>>>> cases), rather than given a choice.  So I don't understand how I can
>>>> illustrate my point with Python code since Python won't let me deal with
>>>> strings without also dealing with Unicode.
>>> Nonsense.
>>> b"Look ma, a Python 2 style ASCII string."
>> Except for one little difference, which has bitten be me a few times.
>> Consider this code:
>> from __future__ import print_function
>> s = b"Look ma, a Python 2 style ASCII string."
>> print('First element:', s[0])
>> Result in Python 2: First element: L
>> Result in Python 3: First element: 76
>> Likewise this code:
>> from __future__ import print_function
>> for e in b'hello':
>>   print(e, end=', ')
>> print()
>> Result in Python 2: h, e, l, l, o,
>> Result in Python 3: 104, 101, 108, 108, 111,
>> There are times (encoding/decoding network protocols and other data formats)
>> when I have a byte string and I want/need to process it like Python 2 does,
>> and that is the one area where I feel Python 3 make things a bit more
>> difficult.
> For the most part, you probably want to decode it as ASCII, if you
> want to process it as text. Remember, bytes are simply numbers -
> octets, groups of eight bits. For it to mean the English word "hello",
> that byte sequence has to be interpreted as ASCII, which is accurately
> indicated as b'hello'.decode('ascii').

I think I've had cases where that approach didn't work very well, but 
unfortunately I can't readily think of any concrete examples.

In any case, even though Python 3's byte strings are not quite unlike 
Python 2's strings, they're not exactly like them either. And I feel 
there are cases where that makes things somewhat harder, even though I 
can't prove it.

"Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a
friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger."
         -- Franklin P. Jones

Roel Schroeven

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