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Python-dev Summary, February 15 - 28, 2001

Mar 02, 2001, 20:17 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hudson)

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Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 12:58:49 +0000 (GMT)
From: Michael Hudson mwh21@cam.ac.uk
To: python-announce-list@python.org
Subject: python-dev summary, 2001-02-15 - 2001-03-01

Thanks for all the positive feedback for the last summary!

This is a summary of traffic on the python-dev mailing list between Feb 15 and Feb 28 (inclusive) 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 second 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 appear at:

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

and will continue to be archived at Andrew's site.

Posting distribution (with apologies to mbm)

Number of articles in summary: 400

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     0 +-033-037-002-008-006-021-071-037-051-012-002-021-054-045
        Thu 15| Sat 17| Mon 19| Wed 21| Fri 23| Sun 25| Tue 27|
            Fri 16  Sun 18  Tue 20  Thu 22  Sat 24  Mon 26  Wed 28
A slightly quieter week on python-dev. As you can see, most Python developers are too well-adjusted to post much on weekends. Or Mondays.

There was a lot of traffic on the bugs, patches and checkins lists in preparation for the upcoming 2.1b1 release.

* backwards incompatibility *

Most of the posts in the large spike in the middle of the posting distribution were on the subject of backward compatibility. One of the unexpected (by those of us that hadn't thought too hard about it) consequences of nested scopes was that some code using the dreaded "from-module-import-*" code inside functions became ambiguous, and the plan was to ban such code in Python 2.1. This provoked a storm of protest from many quarters, including python-dev and comp.lang.python. If you really want to read all of this, start here:

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2001-February/013003.html

However, as you will know if you read comp.lang.python, PythonLabs took note, and in:

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2001-February/013125.html

Guido announced that the new nested scopes behaviour would be opt-in in 2.1, but code that will break in python 2.2 when nested scopes become the default will produce a warning in 2.1. To get the new behaviour in a module, one will need to put

from __future__ import nested_scopes

at the top of the module. It is possible this gimmick will be used to introduce further backwards compatible features in the future.

* obmalloc *

After some more discussion, including Neil Schemenauer pointing out that obmalloc might enable him to make the cycle GC faster, obmalloc was finally checked in.

There's a second patch from Vladimir Marangoz implementing a memory profiler. (sorry for the long line)

http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=401229&group_id=5470&atid=305470

Opinion was muted about this; as Neil summed up in:

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2001-February/013205.html

no-one cares enough to put the time into it and review this patch. Sufficiently violently wielded opinions may swing the day...

* pydoc *

Ka-Ping Yee checked in his amazing pydoc. pydoc was described in

http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2001-January/011538.html

It gives command line and web browser access to Python's documentation, and will be installed as a separate script in 2.1.

* other stuff *

It is believed that the case-sensitive import issues mentioned in the last summary have been sorted out, although it will be hard to be sure until the beta.

The unit-test discussion petered out. Nothing has been checked in yet.

The iterators discussion seems to have disappeared. At least, your author can't find it!

Cheers,
M.