[Pythonmac-SIG] Python+Automator?

Bob Ippolito bob at redivi.com
Mon Jan 24 23:00:22 CET 2005

On Jan 24, 2005, at 16:18, has wrote:

> Bob wrote:
>>> Now, what about the newbies, the new blood? The folks who are 
>>> complete newcomers to Python and/or to programming in general?
>> Personally, I'd rather not be bothered catering to that class of 
>> users.
> Well, I know _you're_ not - that's why the Universe inflicted me upon 
> you, as a form of karmic balance. ;)
> Still, it's a general question, open to all, and I'm curious to see 
> what perspectives other folks can bring.
>>  I'm more inclined to expand what is possible in the first place (in 
>> my spare time anyway)... with occasional bouts of cleaning things up 
>> and hand-holding (writing documentation, speaking at PyCon, doing a 
>> tutorial now and then, answering the mailing lists, setting up 
>> websites, releasing software, etc.).
> All of which is hugely appreciated, of course. While I might not doff 
> my cap at every encounter, I'd be the first to acknowledge that you're 
> one of major backbones to MacPython; and without folk like you and 
> Jack and Ronald to support it, it probably wouldn't exist.
> All the same, I would suggest one small caveat: when developing 
> material intended specifically for the standard library, one should 
> deal with the users one gets, rather than the users one might ideally 
> like. One of Python's great features many other languages, for 
> example, is that it doesn't by design exclude those who _don't_ know 
> what they're doing; and IMO anyone contributing to the language or 
> standard library should feel a certain, shall we say, 'moral 
> obligation' to respect and uphold that position, even if it's not 
> something they have an ideological interest in themselves.

Other than small patches (plistlib is the biggest of these I guess), 
filing bugs, and bugging the right people, I have contributed NOTHING 
to the Python standard library and if I did I would be catering to the 
general community.  I personally don't use much stuff in the Python 
standard library, and when I do end up using it I usually have to 
rewrite it in some way ;)

For example, bundlebuilder wasn't adequate, so I wrote py2app.  py2app 
originally used modulefinder, but it proved inadequate so I wrote 
modulegraph.  I regularly use Twisted (or Objective-C stuff) for 
networking because the built-in stuff is not scalable and threading in 
Python sucks.  I fixed plistlib because it handled a few datatypes 
incorrectly...  This is of course not a definitive list :)  I do use a 
lot of the low-level stuff without complaining too much (the data 
types, itertools, os, sys, datetime, time).

Sure, PyObjC and (at least components of) py2app might be slated for 
inclusion in Python itself, as standard MacPython batteries, or 
components of some future Mac OS X, but the reality is that they are 
not yet and there is nobody (that I know of) actively petitioning for 
this kind of inclusion right now (especially me).  It's a tradeoff, 
once something goes in the standard library or Mac OS X, deprecation 
takes a long time.  In py2app, I still have the freedom to make or 
break any feature on a whim ;)  PyObjC less so, but Ronald and I have a 
bunch of ideas for PyObjC 1.3 that may cause some minor breakage in the 
name of functionality and correctness.  For example, making the class 
hierarchy identical to that of the Objective-C runtime, including 
metaclasses, which fixes the class/instance selector problem but breaks 
the old-style-class idiom that SomeClass.someSelector(self) is the same 
as self.someSelector().  Hopefully people aren't doing that, but it's 
possible they are in some cases at least with NSMutableString because 
our support for that was kinda stupid in 1.1 and earlier.


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