python-dev Summary for 2003-04-01 through 2003-04-15 *and* 2003-04-16 through 2003-04-30 
Author Message
 python-dev Summary for 2003-04-01 through 2003-04-15 *and* 2003-04-16 through 2003-04-30

When I realized today I didn't mail out a copy of the python-dev
Summary for the last half of April I felt like I had not done it for
the first half of April.  Sure enough, I had not.  So I am just
including both here.

If I ever go two weeks without posting a new summary, feel free to
send me an email asking where it's at.  If I ever stop doing this I
will announce it in my last summary.

-------------------------------------

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
python-dev Summary for 2003-04-01 through 2003-04-15
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This is a summary of traffic on the `python-dev mailing list`_ from
April 1, 2003 through April 15, 2003.  It is intended to inform the
wider python community of on-going developments on the list and to
have an archived summary of each thread started on the list.  To
comment on anything mentioned here, just post to

mentioning what you are discussing. All python-dev members are
interested in seeing ideas discussed by the community, so don't
hesitate to take a stance on something.  And if all of this really
interests you then get involved and join `python-dev`_!

This is the fif{*filter*}th summary written by Brett Cannon (<voice of Comic
Book Guy from "The Simpsons">Most summaries written by a single
person, *ever* </voice>).

All summaries are archived at http://www.*-*-*.com/

Please note that this summary is written using reStructuredText_ which
can be found at http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;Any unfamiliar
punctuation is probably markup for reST_ (otherwise it is probably
regular expression syntax or a typo =); you can safely ignore it,
although I suggest learning reST; its simple and is accepted for `PEP
markup`__.  Also, because of the wonders of programs that like to
reformat text, I cannot guarantee you will be able to run the text
version of this summary through Docutils_ as-is unless it is from the
original text file.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

.. _python-dev: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _python-dev mailing list:
http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _comp.lang.python:
http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _Docutils: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _reST:
.. _reStructuredText: http://www.*-*-*.com/

.. contents::

.. _last summary: http://www.*-*-*.com/

======================
Summary Announcements
======================
So all three people who expressed an opinion about the new {*filter*}s_
format liked the new one, so it stays.

Do you guys actually like the links to the CVS in the Summaries?  The
various links I put in to every single file mentioned that does not
have direct documentation is time-consuming.  But if you find it
useful it can stay.  Please let me know whether you actually use it
(this means if you don't tell me!).

=========
`Boom`__
=========
__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

Splinter threads:
    - `RE: [Python-checkins] python/dist/src/Modules gcmodule.c
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

Related threads:
    - `Garbage collecting closures
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
    - `Algorithm for finalizing cycles
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

Do you want to know what dedication is?  Thinking of Python code that
will cause Python to crash during dental surgery.  Well, Tim Peters is
that dedicated and managed to come up with some code that crashed
Python when it attempted to garbage-collect some objects.  This begins
the joy that is garbage collection and finalizer functions.

Gather around, children, as we learn about how Python tries to keep
you from having to worry about keeping track of your trash.  When
Python executes the garbage collector, it looks to see what objects
are unreachable based on reference counts; when something has a
reference count of 0 nothing is referencing it so it is just floating
out in the middle of no where with no one giving a hoot about whether
it is their or not (children: "Awww!  Poor, lonely object!").  But
some of these lonely objects have what we call a finalizer (children:
"What's that?!?"; isn't it cute when children are still inquisitive?
Good for you for still being inquisitive!  Have to be supportive, you
know).  A finalizer is either an instance that has a __del__ object or
an object that has something in its tp_del slot (children: <nod>).
Does anyone know why we have to take of these lonely objects that are
somewhat special? (children: <look around for someone to be brave
enough to actually try to answer; no one does>)  Well, since these
objects have something that must be called before they are
garbage-collected, we have to make sure they don't reference an object
that is out there but people think is cared about when it is only an
object with a finalizer and we don't care about their opinions; it
might want to keep an object's reference count above 0 and thus not be
collected (children: "Oh...").  What makes them especially difficult
to handle is that some objects that don't look like finalizers lie and
end up acting like they are by defining a __getattr__ method that does
very rude things (children: "That's not nice!").  And since it is
really hard to tell whether they are real finalizers or just act like
one, we just let them be out there forever so that they don't make the
great Interpreter have to deal with them (some rabble-rouser: "My dad
says that there is no great Interpreter and that everything came from
the Compiler and Linker when they got together and did something my
dad won't tell me about.  Something about the bits and the bees...";
rest of children: "Nu-uh!  The Interpeter is real!  We've seen it!
It's all-powerful and knowing!  Take it back, take it back!").
Luckily, though, it is only an issue with something old-timers call
classic classes; things that started to decay away long, long
ago(children: "Yay!  No more cruft!")  And thanks to the diligent work
of some very important people, it has been dealt with (children: "Yay!
 Thank you important people!").  There is a lesson to be learned here
children; do not put old things to pasture to early since you can make
stubborn old people mad which is bad since they make up the majority
of voters in America (children: "Yes, teacher!"; smart-ass in the back
of the room: "How old are you, teacher?" <snicker>).

Guido said that Python's cleanup model could be summed up as "things
get destroyed when nothing refers to them at some arbitrary time after
nothing refers to them."  And the corollary is "always explicitly
close your external resources."  In other words, when nothing points
to the object will get collected at *some* point, but not necessarily
immediately.  The corollary is just good programming practice; close
your resources yourself instead of relying on finalizers to do it for
you since there is no guarantee when that will happen.

Tim Peters gave several suggestions in regards in how to make sure
things get cleaned up; from registering cleanup code with sys.atexit()
to keep a weakref in a module with a finalizer to be executed when the
module is collected.

=========
{*filter*}s
=========
`Distutils documentation amputated in 2.2 docs?`__
    Splinter threads:
        - `How do I report a bug?
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    Greg Ewing that two sections from the Distutils docs disappeared
between Python 1.6 and 2.2.  Sections are still missing and will stay
so until someone comes up with a patch to add in the missing sections.
 There was also a discussion on making it more obvious how to report a
bug on SF_.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _SF:
.. _SourceForge: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`PEP 269 once more.`__
    Jonathan Riehl got his patch for implementing `PEP 269`_ ("Pgen
Module for Python") but then uploaded a newer version that is better.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _PEP 269: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Minor issue with PyErr_NormalizeException`__
    It was discovered that PyErr_NormalizeException could dump core
because it forgot to return on possible errors.  It's been fixed and
back-ported.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Capabilities (we already got one)`__
    Splinter threads:
        - `Capabilities
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
        - `Security challenge
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    The thread that refuses to die continued into this month.  Nothing
ground-breaking was said, though.  Ben Laurie, though, did say he is
working on a PEP_ so hopefully that will make this whole discussion
clear.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _PEP: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`[PEP] += on return of function call result`__
    Someone wanted to do ``log.setdefault(r, '') += "test %d\n" % t``
which does not work.  But it was pointed out you can just do ``temp =
log.setdefault(r, ''); temp += "test %d\n" % t``.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`How to suppress instance __dict__?`__
    This is only of interest to people who use `Boost.Python`_ (which
I don't use so I am not going to summarize it; although if you use C++
you will want to look at Boost.Python).

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _Boost.Python: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Super and properties`__
    Someone got bit by properties not working nicely with super().
Nathan Srebro subsequently posted a `link
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~nati/Python/>`__ to a his own version of
super() which handles this problem.

__

`fwd: Dan Sugalski on continuations and closures`__
    Kevin Altis forwarded some posts by Dan Sugalski (the guy heading
the Parrot_ project and who Guido will throw a pie at at OSCON 2004
=) about closures and continuations that he found at
http://www.*-*-*.com/ #closuresAndContinuations
.  Very well-written and might clarify things for people if they care
to know more about closures, continuations, and why Lisp folks claim
they are so damn important.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _Parrot: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`LONG_LONG`__
    Python 2.3 renames the LONG_LONG definition from the C API to
PY_LONG_LONG as it should have been renamed.  Yes, this will break
things, but it was incorrect to have not renamed it.  If you need to
keep compatibility with code before Python 2.3, just use the following
code (contributed by Mark Hammond)::

        #if defined(PY_LONG_LONG) && !defined(LONG_LONG)
        #define LONG_LONG PY_LONG_LONG
        #endif

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`socket question`__
    Someone asking why something didn't build under Solaris and

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`PEP305 csv package: from csv import csv?`__
    Why does one have to do ``from csv import csv``?  Wouldn't it be
more reasonable to just do some magic in __init__.py for the csv_
package to do this properly?  Well, Skip Montanaro forwarded the

probably will make the change in the near future.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _csv: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`SF file uploads work now`__
    Yes, hell must have frozen over since you can now upload a file
when you start a new patch or bug report on SourceForge_.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Unicode`__
    Splinter threads:
        - `OT: Signal/noise ratio
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    Once again another question on python-dev that is not appropriate
for the list.  But this one spawned questions of whether the mailing
list should be renamed (answer: no, since it is fairly well-known what
python-dev is for) or go back to having the list being closed and
requiring moderator approval for posts from people off the list
(answer: no, because the amount of work was just too much of a pain
and the amount of off-topic emails has not equated to the filtering
work done previously).

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Placement of os.fdopen functionality`__
    It was suggested to make the fdopen method of the os_ module a
class method of 'file'.  That was determined to be YAGNI and thus
won't happen.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _os: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Adding item in front of a list`__
    Tim Peters wonders how many people would be made upset if
list.insert() supported a negative index argument.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Why is spawn*p* not available on Windows?`__
    Shane Halloway might add one of the os.spawn*p*() functions to
Windows.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`tzset`__
    time.tzset() is no longer on Windows because it is broken (and I
will behave and not make a joke about how it would be just as broken
as the OS or anything because I am unbiased).

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`backporting string changes to 2.2.3`__
    Neal Norwitz updated docs and back-ported changes to the string_
module to bring it in sync with the actual string object.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _string: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`List wisdom`__
    http://www.*-*-*.com/
page created to contain the random nuggets of wisdom that come up on
python-dev.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`ValueErrors in range()`__
    Fixed the error where range() returned ValueError when it should
return TypeError.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`_socket efficiencies ideas`__
    Marcus Mendenhall wanted to get a patch applied that would allow
you to create a socket that could skip a DNS lookup.  He also wanted
to add the ability to include a '<numeric>' prefix IP addresses to
make sure that DNS lookup was skipped.  Various ways of trying to cut
back on time wasted on unneeded DNS lookups was discussed but no
solution was found acceptable.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`tp_clear return value`__
    tp_clear could stand to return void, but can't change because of
backwards-compatibility.  Will most likely end up documenting to
ignore what is returned by what is put into tp_clear.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`More socket questions`__
    Someone suggested fixing something that has been solved in Python
2.3.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Embedded python on Win2K, import failures`__
    Someone had errors embedding Windows.  No real conclusion came out
of it.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`More int/long integration issues`__
    Splintered threads:
        - `range() as iterator
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    Before Python 3.0 (when xrange() will disappear), there is a good
chance that the idiom ``for x in range(): ...`` will be caught by the
compiler and compiled into a lazy generator (probably a generator).

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Changes to gettext.py for Python 2.3`__
    Barry Warsaw suggested some changes to gettext_ but none of them
seemed to catch on.  But Barry has checkin rights and is one of
apparently three people in the world who uses the module so they were
added anyway.  =)

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _gettext: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Evil setattr hack`__
    Someone discovered how to set attributes on built-in types.  Guido
checked in code to prevent it.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Using temp files and the Internet in regression tests`__
    I asked if it was okay to use in regression tests temporary files
(answer: yes it is and if you only need one use
test.test_support.TESTFN) or sockets (answer: yes as long as
test.test_support.is_resource_enabled("network") is True).  It led to
me being unofficially assigned the task of coming up with
documentation for test_support and regrtest for both the library
documentation and Lib/test/README.  I also got CVS commit privileges
on Python itself!  I became an official Python developer!  Woohoo!

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`migration away from SourceForge?`__
    It was suggested we revisit the idea of moving Python development
off of SourceForge_ because of the usual crappy CVS performance and
underwhelming tracker performance.  There is also the issue that
problems with the setup cannot be fixed on our schedule.  GForge_ and
Roundup_ were both suggested as alternatives.  Roundup specifically
has gotten a decent amount of support since it is in Python and thus
we could get things fixed quickly.  Trouble is that it is not polished
enough yet and we would need to furnish our own CVS (but Ben Laurie
might be gracious enough to help us out on that front with possible
hosting at http://www.*-*-*.com/ ).

If you would like to help get Roundup and the install at
http://www.*-*-*.com/ :8080/ up and going, please do so.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _GForge: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _Roundup: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`How should time.strptime() handle UTC?`__
    I asked if anyone thought time.strptime() should recognize UTC and
GMT timezones by default for setting whether or not daylight savings
was being used.  No one has given their opinion yet (do you have
one?).

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Big trouble in CVS Python`__
    CVS Python was crashing on the regression tests.  It turned out to
be from the reuse of a variable in the code that implements range().
Tim Peters said a "Word to the wise:  don't ever try to reuse a
variable whose address is passed to PyArg_ParseTuple for anything
other than holding what PyArg_ParseTuple does or doesn't store into
it".

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`GIL vs thread state`__
    Discovered the docs for PyThreadState_Clear() are incorrect (or at
least not very clear).

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`test_pwd failing`__
    test_pwd was failing and now it isn't.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`lists v. tuples`__
    You can tell whether a comparison function does a 3-way or 2-way
(using <); but that is not Pythonic and thus won't be done so as to
allow someone to pass either a 2 or 3-way comparison function to
list.sort() and have the method figure out what type of sort it is.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`LynxOS 4 port`__
    Duane Voth wants to get Python ported to the LynxOS on PPC.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

`sre.c and sre_match()`__
    The C code for the re module is not simple.  =)

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
python-dev Summary for 2003-04-16 through 2003-04-30
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This is a summary of traffic on the `python-dev mailing list`_ from
April 16, 2003 through April 30, 2003.  It is intended to inform the
wider Python community of on-going developments on the list and to
have an archived summary of each thread started on the list.  To
comment on anything mentioned here, just post to

mentioning what you are discussing. All python-dev members are
interested in seeing ideas discussed by the community, so don't
hesitate to take a stance on something.  And if all of this really
interests you then get involved and join `python-dev`_!

This is the six{*filter*}th summary written by Brett Cannon (writing history
the way I see fit  =).

All summaries are archived at http://www.*-*-*.com/

Please note that this summary is written using reStructuredText_ which
can be found at http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;Any unfamiliar
punctuation is probably markup for reST_ (otherwise it is probably
regular expression syntax or a typo =); you can safely ignore it,
although I suggest learning reST; its simple and is accepted for `PEP
markup`__.  Also, because of the wonders of programs that like to
reformat text, I cannot guarantee you will be able to run the text
version of this summary through Docutils_ as-is unless it is from the
original text file.

__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

.. _python-dev: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _python-dev mailing list:
http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _comp.lang.python:
http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _Docutils: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _reST:
.. _reStructuredText: http://www.*-*-*.com/

.. contents::

.. _last summary: http://www.*-*-*.com/

======================
Summary Announcements
======================
So no one responded to my question last time about whether anyone
cared if I stopped linking to files in the Python CVS online through
ViewCVS.  So silence equals what ever answer makes my life easier, so
I won't link to files anymore.

.. _ViewCVS: http://www.*-*-*.com/

==================
`2.3b1 release`__
==================
__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

Splinter threads:
    - `Masks in getargs.c
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
    - `CALL_ATTR patch
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
    - `Built-in functions as methods
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
    - `Tagging the tree
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
    - `RELEASED: Python 2.3b1
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

Guido announced he wanted to get `Python 2.3b1`_ out the door by
Friday, April 25 (which he did).  He also said if something urgently
needed to get in before then to set the priority on the item to 7.

The rules for betas is you can apply bug fixes (it is the point of the
releases).  New unit tests can also be added as long as the entire
regression testing suite passes with them in there; since this is a
beta any bugs found should be patched along with adding the tests.

This led to some patches to come up that some people would like to see
get into b1.  One is Thomas Heller and his patch at
http://www.*-*-*.com/
PyArg_ParseTuple().  Thomas' patch adds two new masks ('k' and 'K')
and modifies some others so that their range checking (if they kept
any) were more reasonable.

This is when Jack Jansen chimed in saying that he didn't notice any
mask that worked between 2.2 and 2.3 that converts 32 bit values
without throwing a fit.  Basically the changes to the 'h' mask left
all of the Mac modules broken.  The change was backed out, though, and
the issue was solved.

Martin v. L?wis wanted to get IDNA (International Domain Names in
Applications) in (which he did).

UnixWare was (and as of this writing still is) broken.  It's being
worked on, though, by Tim Rice.

The CALL_ATTR patch that Thomas Wouters and I worked on at PyCon came
up.  We were trying to come up with an opcode to replace the common
``LOAD_ATTR; CALL_FUNCTION`` opcode pair that happens whenever you
call a method.  The hope was to short-circuit the pushing on to the
stack the method object since it gets popped off immediately by
CALL_FUNCTION.  Initially the patch only worked for classic classes
but Thomas has since cleaned it up and added support for new-style
classes.

To help out Thomas, Guido gave an overview of new-style classes and
how descriptors work.  Basically a descriptor is what exists in a
class' __dict__ and "primarily affects instance attribute lookup".
When the attribute lookup finds the descriptor it wants, it calls its
__get__ method (tp_descrget slot for C types).  The lookup then
"binds" this to the instance; this is what separates a bound method
from a function since functions are also descriptors.  Properties are
just descriptors whose __get__ calls whatever you passed for the fget
argument.  Class attribute lookup also calls __get__ but the instance
attribute is made None (or NULL for C code).  __set__ is called on a
descriptor for instance attribute assignment but not for class
attribute assignment.

Guido clarified this later somewhat by the example having a descriptor
f that when ``f.__get__(obj)`` is called it returns a function g which
acts like a curried function (read the Python Cookbook if you don't
know what currying_ is).  Now when you call ``g(arg1, ...)`` you are
basically doing ``f(obj, arg1, ...)``; so this all turns into
``f.__get__(obj)(arg1, ...)``.

The problem with the CALL_ATTR patch is that there is turning out to
be zero benefit from it beyond from having a nicer opcode for a common
operation when the code for working with new-style classes in the
code.  This could be from cache misses because of the increased size
of the interpreter loop or just too many branches to possibly take.
As of now the patch is still on SF and has not been applied.

.. _Python 2.3b1: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _currying: http://www.*-*-*.com/

=========================
`Super and properties`__
=========================
__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

This thread was initially covered in the `last summary`_.

Guido ended up explaining why super() does not work for properties.
super() does not stop on the first hit of finding something when that
"something" is a data descriptor; it ignores it and just keeps on
looking.  Now super() does this so that it doesn't end up looking like
something it isn't.  Think of the case of __class__; if it returned
what object's __class__ returned it would cause super to look like
something it isn't.  Guido figured people wouldn't want to override
data descriptors anyway, so this made sense.

But now there is a use case for this, so Guido is changing this for
Python 2.3 so that data descriptors are properly hit in the
inheritance chain by super().

======================
`Final PEP 311 run`__
======================
__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

Mark Hammond's `PEP 311`_ has now been implemented!  What Mark has
done is implement two functions in C; PyGILState_Ensure() and
PyGILState_Restore().  Call the first one to get control of the GIL,
without having to know its current state, to allow you to use the
Python API safely.  The second releases the GIL when you are done
making calls out to Python.  This is a much simpler interface than
what was previously needed when you did not need a very fancy
threading interface with Python and just needed to hold the GIL.

As always, read the PEP to get the full details.

.. _PEP 311: http://www.*-*-*.com/

================================================
`summing a bunch of numbers (or "whatevers")`__
================================================
__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

Splinter threads:
    - `stats.py < http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
    - `''.join() again
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

How would use sum a list of numbers?  Traditionally there have been
two answers.  One is to use the operator module and 'reduce' in the
idiomatic ``reduce(operator.add, list_of_numbers)``.  The other is to
do a simple loop::

  running_sum = 0
  for num in iterable_producing_numbers:
      running_sum += num

Common complaints against the 'reduce' solution are that is just is
ugly.  People don't like the loop solution because it is long for such
a simple operation.  And a knock against both is that new users of
Python do not necessarily think of either solution initially.  So,
what to do?

Well, Alex Martelli to the rescue.  Alex proposed adding a new
built-in, 'sum', that would take a list of numbers and return the sum
of those numbers.  Originally Alex also wanted to special-case the
handling of a list of strings so as to prevent having to tell new
Python programmers that ``"".join(list_of_strings)`` is the best way
to concatenate a bunch of strings and that looping over them is
*really* bad (the amount of I/O done in the loop kills performance).
But this special-casing was shot down because it seemed rather magical
and can still be taught to beginners easily enough ('reduce' tends to
require an understanding of functional programming).

But the function still got added for numbers.  So, as of Python 2.3b1,
there is a built-in named 'sum' that has the parameter list
"sum(iterable_producing_numbers [, start=0]) -> sum of the numbers
given by iterable_producing_numbers".  The 'start' parameter allows
you to specify an initial value.  And since this is a function with a
very specific use it is the fastest way you can sum a list of numbers.

The question of adding a statistics module came up during this
discussion.  The thought was presented to come up with a good, basic
stats module to have in the stdlib.    The arguments against this is
that there are already several good stats modules out there so why
bother with including one with Python?  It would cause some
overshadowing of any 3rd-party stats modules.  Eventually the "nays"
had it and the idea was dropped.

And for all his work Alex got CVS commit privileges.  Python, the gift
that keeps on giving you more responsibility.  =)

===================================
`When is it okay to cvs remove?`__
===================================
__ http://www.*-*-*.com/

Related threads:
    - `Rules of a beta release?
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

Being probably the most inexperienced person with CVS commit
privileges on Python, I am continuing with my newbie questions in
terms of applying patches to the CVS tree (and since I control the
Summary I am going to document the answers I get here so I don't have
to write them down somewhere else  =).  This time I asked about when
it was appropriate to use ``cvs remove``, specifically if it was
reasonable if a file was completely rewritten.

The answer was to not bother with it unless you are actually removing
the file forever; don't bother if you are just rewriting the file.
Also, don't bother with changing the version number when doing a
complete rewrite; just make sure to mention in the CVS commit message
that it is a rewrite.

I also learned that the basic guideline to follow in terms of whether
a patch should be put up on SF_ or just committed directly is that if
you are unsure about the usefulness or correctness then you should
post it on SF.  But if you don't think there is anyone who can answer
it on SF it will just languish there for eternity.

Also learned the rules of a beta release.  Basically no changes that
would cause someone's code to not work the same way as when the beta
was released can be checked in.  New tests are okay, though.

.. _SF: http://www.*-*-*.com/

=========
{*filter*}s
=========
`3-way result of PyObject_IsTrue() considered PITA`__
    Raymond Hettinger discovered that PyObject_IsTrue() promises that
there is never an error from running the function, which is not how
the function performs.  Raymond fixed the docs to match the code.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Python dies upon printing UNICODE using UTF-8`__
    Windows NT 4's support of UTF-8 is broken.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`shellwords`__
    Gustavo Niemeyer asked if there was any chance of getting
shellwords_ into the stdlib so as to be able to have POSIX command
line word parsing.  The basic response was that shlex_ should be
enhanced to do what Gustavo wanted.  He has since written `patch
#722686`_ that implements the features he wanted.  It was also
discovered that distutils.util.split_quoted comes close.  If someone
wants to document Distutils utilities it would be greatly appreciated.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _shellwords: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _shlex: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _patch #722686: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Changes to gettext.py for Python 2.3`__
    This thread was originally covered in the `last summary`_.  Barry
Warsaw and Martin v. L?wis discussed the gettext_ and whether there
should be a way to coerce strings to other encodings.  They ended up
agreeing on defaulting on Unicode for storing the strings and having
.gettext() coerce to an 8-bit string while .ugettext() returns the
original Unicode string.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _gettext: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Stackless 3.0 alpha 1 at blinding speed`__
    Christian Tismer has done it again; he improved Stackless_ and now
has managed to have merged the abilities of Stackless 1 with 2 which
has led to 3a.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _Stackless: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Build errors under RH9`__
    Python was not building under Red Hat 9, but Martin v. L?wis
checked in a fix.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Wrappers and keywords`__
    Matt LeBlanc asked why there wasn't a nice syntax for doing
properties staticmethods and classmethods.  The answer is that it was
felt it was more important to get the ability to use those new
descriptors out there instead of letting a syntax debate hold them up.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Startup overhead due to codec usage`__
    MA Lemburg and Martin v. L?wis discussed startup time taken up by
seeing what encoding is used by the local filesystem.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`test_pwd failing`__
    Initially covered in the `last summary`_.  test_grp was failing
for the same reasons test_pwd was failing.  It has been fixed.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Evil setattr hack`__
    Someone found a way to set an attribute on a type which is a
no-no.  The lesson learned here was don't mess with an instance's
__dict__ directly; we will let you but if you get burned its your own
fault.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`heapq`__
    Splinter threads:
      - `FIFO data structure?
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
      - `heaps < http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    The idea of turning the heapq_ module into a class came up, and
later led to the idea of having a more proper FIFO (First In, First
Out) data structure.  Both ideas were shot down.  The reason for this
was that the stdlib does not need to try to grow every single possible
data structure in programming.  Guido's design philosophy is to have a
few very powerful data structures that other ones can be built off of.
 This is why the bisect_ and heapq modules just work on standard lists
instead of defining a new class.  Queue_ is an exception, but it is
designed to mediate messages between threads instead of being a
general implementation of a queue.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _heapq: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _bisect: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _Queue: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`New re failures on Windows`__
    Splinter threads:
      - `sre vs gcc < http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    The re_ module was failing after some changes were made to it.
The pain of it all was that it was failing only on certain platforms
running gcc_.  Initial attempts were to make it "just work", but then
it was stressed that it is more important to find the offending C code
and figure out why gcc on certain platforms was compiling bad
assembly.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _re: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _gcc: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`os.path.walk() lacks 'depth first' option`__
    Someone requested that os.path.walk support breadth-first walking
(yes, the title of the thread is wrong).  The request was deemed not
important enough to bother implementing, but Tim Peters did implement
a new function named os.walk that is a much improved replacement for
os.path.walk and lets you control which direction the traversl goes
(top-down or bottom-up).

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Weekly Python Bug/Patch Summary`__
    Skip Montanaro's weekly reminder that there is work to be done!
Summary for week 2 can be found `here
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Hook Extension Module Import?`__
    Want to do something that requires a special import hook in C?
Then override the __import__ built-in with what you need.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Bug/feature/patch policy for optparse.py`__
    Greg Ward asked if it would be okay to keep the official version
of optparse_ at http://www.*-*-*.com/ (Optik is the project name for
optparse).  Guido said sure.  The justification for this is that Greg
wants Optik to be available to people for use in earlier versions of
Python.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _optparse: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`LynxOS4 dynamic loading with dlopen() and -ldl`__
    LynxOS4 does not like dynamic linking.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Embedded python on Win2K, import failures`__
    I don't like Windows.  And no, this has nothing to do with this
single email that is a short continuation of one covered in the `last
summary`_.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`New thread death in test_bsddb3`__
    After Mark Hammond's new thread code got checked in the bsddb
module broke.  Mark went in, though, and using the wonders that is the
C preprocessor and NEW_PYGILSTATE_API_EXISTS, Mark fixed the code to
use the new PyGILState API as covered in `PEP 311`_ when possible and
to use the old solution when needed.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Magic number needs upgrade`__
    Guido noticed that the PYC magic number needed to be incremented
to handle Raymond Hettinger's new bytecode optimizations.  But then
Guido questioned the need of Raymond's changes.  Basically Raymond's
changes didn't speed anything up but cleaned up the emitted bytecode.
Guido didn't like the idea of adding more code without an actual speed
improvement.  Since neither this code nor any of the other proposed
speedup changes (CALL_ATTR and caching attribute lookup results) are
panning out, Guido questioned why Raymond's should get in.  Guido
suggested rewriting the interpreter from scratch since all new changes
seem to be breaking some delicate balance that has developed in it.
He also thought putting effort into other things like pysco_.
Eventually Raymond's changes were backed out.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _pysco: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`draft PEP: Trace and Profile Support for Threads`__
    Jeremy Hylton has a draft PEP on how to add hooks for profile and
trace code in threads.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Data Descriptors on module objects`__
    Never going to happen.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Metatype conflict among bases?`__
    "The metaclass [of a class] must be a subclass of the metaclass of
all the bases" of that class.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`okay to beef up tests on the maintenance branch?`__
    Answer: yes!

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Cryptographic stuff for 2.3`__
    AM Kuchling wanted to add an implementation of the AES_ encryption
algorithm to the stdlib.  After a long discussion the idea was shot
down because having crypto that strong in the stdlib would cause
export issues for Python.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _AES: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`vacation`__
    Neal Norwitz is on vacation from April 26 till May 6.  He pointed
out some nagging errors coming up from the `Snake Farm`_ that could
use some working on.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _Snake Farm: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`test_getargs2 failures`__
    Not anymore.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Democracy`__
    Guido pointed out a paper on democracy (in the ancient Athenian
sense) and the organization of groups at
http://www.*-*-*.com/
interesting.  Sparked some discussion on proper comparisons to open
source projects and such.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Updating PEP 246 for type/class unification, 2.2+, etc.`__
    Phillip Eby proposed some changes to `PEP 246`_.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _PEP 246: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`why is test_socketserver in expected skips?`__
    Skip Montanaro noticed that socketserver was listed as an expected
test to be skipped on all platforms sans os2emx even though it works
on all platforms with networking (basically all of them).  So it was
removed from the expected skip list.  Skip also tweaked
test_support.requires to always pass when the caller is __main__.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`netrc.py`__
    Bram Moolenaar, author of the `greatest editor in the world`_ and
AAP_, requested a changed to netrc_ that got implemented.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _greatest editor in the world: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _AAP: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _netrc: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`PyRun_* functions`__
    They take FILE* arguments and it is going to stay that way.  Just
make sure the files are opened with the same library as being built
against.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Python Developers`__
    Related threads:
      - `Getting mouse position interms of canvas unit.
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
      - `2.3b1, and object()
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    Posted to the wrong email list.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`New test failure on Windows`__
    re_ was failing but got fixed.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`More new Windos test failures`__
    Just before `Python 2.3b1`_ got pushed out the door, some
last-minute test failures cropped up (some of them were my fault).
But they got fixed.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`should sre.Scanner be exposed through re and documented?`__
    re.Scanner shall remain undocumented.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`LynxOS4 port: need pre-ncurses curses!`__
    The LynxOS is hoping curses will go away.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`test_s?re merge`__
    test_re and test_sre have been merged and moved over to unittest_
thanks to Skip Montanaro.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _unittest: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`test_ossaudiodev{*filter*} again`__
    Some people are still having issues with ossaudiodev tests
{*filter*}.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`bz2 module fails to compile on Solaris 8`__
    The joys of being cross-platform.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`test_logging hangs on Solaris 8`__
    Splinter threads:
      - `test_logging hangs on OS X
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
      - `test_logging hangs on Solaris 8 (and 9)
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    The joys of threading and trying to avoid deadlock.  A fix has
been checked in that seems to fix this on OS X; don't know about
Solaris yet.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Python 2.3b1 documentation`__
    Fred L. Drake, Jr. posted the documentation for Python 2.3b1.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Accepted PEPs?`__
    Splinter threads:
      - `Reminder to PEP authors
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__
      - `proposed amendments to PEP 1
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    The status of some PEPs got updated?along with some proposed
changes to `PEP 1`_.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _PEP 1: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Problems w/ Python 2.2-maint and Redhat 9`__
    Dealing with some issues of Python 2.2-maint and linking against a
dbm.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Why doesn't the uu module give you the filename?`__
     Someone wanted the uu_ module to let you know what the name of
the encoded file is.  Was told to post a patch.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/
.. _uu: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Antigen found CorruptedCompressedUuencodeFile virus`__
    The joys of having to watch out for viruses in emails and get
false positives.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Python 2.3b1 has 20% slower networking?`__
    Splinter threads:
      - `Python-Dev digest, Vol 1 #3221 - 4 msgs
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    Networking throughput did not have as high of a max when in a loop
as before.  Has been fixed, though.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`cvs socketmodule.c and IPV6 disabled`__
    Discovered some code that couldn't compile because a test for a
specific C function was not specific enough.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Introduction :)`__
    Someone else with the first name of Brett introduced themselves to
the list (Brett Kelly).  You can tell us apart because I am taller.
=)

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Dictionary tuning`__
    Splinter threads:
      - `Dictionary tuning upto 100,000 entries
< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ;`__

    Raymond Hettinger did a bunch of attempted tuning of dictionary
accesses and came up with one solution that managed to be beneficial
for large dictionaries and not detrimental for small ones.  He
basically just caused dictionary sizes to grow by a factor of 4
instead of 2 so as to lower the number of collisions.  The objection
that came up was that some dictionaries would be larger than they were
previously.  It looks like it would be applied, but Raymond's notes on
everything will most likely end up as a text file in Python.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Thoughts on -O`__
    It was suggested to change what the -O and -OO command-line
switches did since at this moment they don't do much (Guido has even
suggested eliminating -O).  But the discussion has been partially put
on hold until development for Python 2.4 starts.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/

`Initialization hook for extenders`__
    It has been suggested to add a Py_AtInit() hook to Python to be
symmetric with Py_AtExit().  The debate over this is still going.

.. __: http://www.*-*-*.com/



Mon, 24 Oct 2005 13:14:23 GMT  
 
 [ 1 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. python-dev Summary for 2003-04-01 through 2003-04-15 *and* 2003-04-16 through 2003-04-30

2. python-dev Summary for 2003-05-16 through 2003-05-31

3. python-dev Summary for 2003-05-01 through 2003-05-15

4. python-dev Summary for 2003-03-16 through 2003-03-31

5. python-dev Summary for 2003-03-01 through 2003-03-15

6. python-dev Summary for 2003-02-01 through 2003-02-15

7. python-dev Summary for 2003-01-16 through 2003-01-31

8. python-dev Summary for 2002-12-16 through 2002-12-31

9. python-dev Summary for 2002-12-01 through 2002-12-15

10. python-dev Summary for 2002-11-16 through 2002-11-30

11. python-dev Summary, 2002-11-01 through 2002-11-15

12. Python-dev Summary for 2002-10-01 through 2002-10-13

 

 
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