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Python-dev Summary, February 1-15, 2001

Feb 15, 2001, 20:24 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hudson)

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Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 16:55:35 +0000 (GMT)
From: Michael Hudson mwh21@cam.ac.uk
To: python-announce-list@python.org
Subject: python-dev summary, 2001-02-01 - 2001-02-15

It is with some trepidation that I post:

This is a summary of traffic on the python-dev mailing list between Feb 1 and Feb 14 2001. It is intended to inform the wider Python community of ongoing developments. To comment, just post to python-list@python.org or comp.lang.python in the usual way. Give your posting a meaningful subject line, and if it's about a PEP, include the PEP number (e.g. Subject: PEP 201 - Lockstep iteration) All python-dev members are interested in seeing ideas discussed by the community, so don't hesitate to take a stance on a PEP if you have an opinion.

This is the first python-dev summary written by Michael Hudson. Previous summaries were written by Andrew Kuchling and can be found at:

http://www.amk.ca/python/dev/

New summaries will probably appear at:

http://starship.python.net/crew/mwh/summaries/

When I get round to it.

Posting distribution (with apologies to mbm)

Number of articles in summary: 498

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    0 +-029-067-039-037-080-048-020-009-040-021-008-030-043-027
       Thu 01| Sat 03| Mon 05| Wed 07| Fri 09| Sun 11| Tue 13|
           Fri 02  Sun 04  Tue 06  Thu 08  Sat 10  Mon 12  Wed 14
A fairly busy fortnight on python-dev, falling just short of five hundred articles. Much of this is making ready for the Python 2.1 release, but people's horizons are beginning to rise above the present.

* Python 2.1a2 *

Python 2.1a2 was released on Feb. 2. One of the more controversial changes was the disallowing of "from module import *" at anything other than module level; this restriction was weakened after some slightly heated discussion on comp.lang.python.

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2001-February/012815.html

It is possible that non-module-level "from module import *" will produce some kind of warning in Python 2.1 but this code has not yet been written.

* Performance *

Almost two weeks ago, we were talking about performance. Michael Hudson posted the results of an extended benchmarking session using Marc-Andre Lemburg's pybench suite:

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2001-January/012330.html

to which the conclusion was that python 2.1 will be marginally slower than python 2.0, but it's not worth shouting about. The use of Vladimir Marangoz's obmalloc patch in some of the benchmarks sparked a discussion about whether this patch should be incorporated into Python 2.1. There was support from many for adding it on an opt-in basis, since when nothing has happened...

* Imports on case-insensitive file systems *

There was quite some discussion about how to handle imports on a case-insensitive file system (eg. on Windows). I didn't follow the details, but Tim Peters is on the case (sorry), so I'm confident it will get sorted out.

* Sets & iterators *

The Sets discussion rumbled on, moving into areas of syntax. The syntax:

for key:value in dict:

was proposed. Discussion went round and round for a while and moved on to more general iteration constructs, prompting Ka-Ping Yee to write a PEP entitled "iterators":

http://python.sourceforge.net/peps/pep-0234.html

Please comment!

Greg Wilson announced that BOFs for both sets and iterators have been arranged at the python9 conference in March:

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2001-February/012824.html

* Stackless Python in Korea *

Christian Tismer gave a presentation on stackless python to over 700 Korean pythonistas:

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2001-February/012601.html

I think almost everyone was amazed and delighted to find that Python has such a fan base. Next stop, the world!

* string methodizing the standard library *

Eric Raymond clearly got bored one evening and marched through the standard library, converting almost all uses of the string module to use to equivalent string method.

* Python's release schedule *

Skip Montanaro raised some concerns about Python's accelerated release schedule, and it was pointed out that the default Python for both debian unstable and Redhat 7.1 beta was still 1.5.2. Have *you* upgraded to Python 2.0? If not, why not?

* Unit testing (again) *

The question of replacing Python's hoary old regrtest-driven test suite with something more modern came up again. Andrew Kuchling enquired whether the issue was to be decided by voting or BDFL fiat:

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2001-February/012830.html

Guido obliged:

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2001-February/012831.html

There was then some discussion of what changes people would like to see made in the standard-Python-unit-testing-framework-elect (PyUnit) before they would be happy with it.

Cheers,
M.