python-dev Summary for 2003-09-16 through 2003-09-30

Discussion in 'Python' started by Brett C., Oct 13, 2003.

  1. Brett C.

    Brett C. Guest

    python-dev Summary for 2003-09-16 through 2003-09-30
    This is a summary of traffic on the `python-dev mailing list`_ from
    September 16, 2003 through September 30, 2003. It is intended to inform
    the wider Python community of on-going developments on the list. To
    comment on anything mentioned here, just post to `comp.lang.python`_ (or
    email which is a gateway to the newsgroup) with a
    subject line 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 twenty-sixth summary written by Brett Cannon (homework, the
    Summaries, how does he find the time?).

    All summaries are archived at .

    Please note that this summary is written using reStructuredText_ which
    can be found at . 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; it's simple and is accepted for `PEP
    markup`_ and gives some perks for the HTML output. 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.

    ... _PEP Markup:

    The in-development version of the documentation for Python can be found
    at and should be used when looking
    up any documentation on something mentioned here. PEPs (Python
    Enhancement Proposals) are located at . To
    view files in the Python CVS online, go to . Reported bugs
    and suggested patches can be found at the SourceForge_ project page.

    ... _python-dev:
    ... _SourceForge:
    ... _python-dev mailing list:
    ... _comp.lang.python:
    ... _Docutils:
    ... _reST:
    ... _reStructuredText:

    ... contents::

    ... _last summary:

    Summary Announcements

    First, sorry about the lateness of this summary. I have started my
    first quarter at `Cal Poly SLO`_. Not only do I get to deal with being
    back in school for the first time in over a year, but I also get to be
    abruptly introduced to the quarter system. Joys abound for me. I am
    still reworking how I manage my time and the Summaries were the first
    thing to take a back seat. Hopefully this won't happen again.

    In case you have not been following general Python news, `Python 2.3.2`_
    is now the newest release of Python. In case you missed the Python
    2.3.1 release, then you missed the little hiccup in that release, which
    is fine. The Python 2.3.2 release does not technically fall under the
    jurisdiction of this summary, but I am not going to wait half a month to
    let people know about it.

    ... _Cal Poly SLO:
    ... _Python 2.3.2:

    Deprecations won't spontaneously appear in a micro release
    In case you don't know, sets.BaseSet.update() has been deprecated in
    favor of union_update() in order to cut out the unneeded duplication of
    functionality in Python 2.4 . While 2.3.1 was still under development
    it grew a PendingDeprecationWarning. This did not sit well with some

    The argument for the PendingDeprecationWarning was that it is silent by
    default and gives people a heads-up in terms of things that are known to
    be deprecated in the next minor version of Python.

    Against this idea, the argument that it adds a change between micro
    versions that is not a bug fix was raised. In the end this won.

    Contributing threads:
    - `pending deprecation warning for Set.update

    Web-SIG on its way, supposedly
    Bill Janssen is working on a charter so a Web SIG_ can be started in
    order to redesign the cgi module as the main goal, but also just making
    Python friendlier to web coding in general.

    ... _SIG:

    Contributing threads:
    - `Improving the CGI module

    Threads and the desolation that is shutdown
    Tim Peters decided to try to deal with the fact that the Zope 3 testing
    suite was spitting out a ton of messages about unhandled exceptions
    during shutdown of the interpreter. It turned out that threads were
    still running during shutdown and thus were throwing a fit because they
    were accessing module globals that were being torn down and set to None.

    The problem went away when the second call to PyGC_Collect() in
    Py_Finalize() was commented out. This is not totally acceptable since
    the second call is there to help collect garbage at shutdown so that
    things clean up properly. Tim did end up suggesting just taking it out,
    though, for a future version of Python.

    He also suggested tearing down the sys module even later (and thus "even
    more of a
    special case than it is now"). This would leave sys.modules around and
    thus not cause globals to turn to None and cause errors from that

    Neither solution has been taken yet. A temporary solution if you keep
    running into this is to make sure that either your cleanup code only
    accesses local variables (if you have to store references to globals
    since that will keep them around for you during shutdown).

    Contributing threads:
    - `Fun with 2.3 shutdown

    Where is str.rsplit?!?
    The reason str.rsplit does not exist in Python is because the method is
    not difficult to code on your own. And yet people still want it. But
    there was not of a public outcry and the topic just fizzled.

    Contributing threads:
    - `Discussion on adding rsplit() for strings and unicode objects.

    Waxing on PEP 310
    Holger Krekel brought up PEP 310 (entitled "Reliable Acquisition/Release
    Pairs") in terms of how code blocks should handle exceptions and such.
    Michael Hudson suggested that might be taking PEP 310 beyond what it is
    meant to cover. To this, Holger suggested that then perhaps some other
    route should be taken.

    As with all PEPs, discussion of them is always helpful for python-dev
    and the community. It helps hash out ideas and gives python-dev
    feedback on whether a PEP should be rejected.

    Contributing threads:
    `pep 310 (reliable acquisition/release pairs)

    bsddb3 failures and the database system it wraps, news at 10
    The bsddb3 regression tests were failing during preparation for Python
    2.3.1 . Beyond the "the test just fails sometimes" issues that come up
    with tests that are finicky because of timing, it was suggested that the
    failures are the fault of the Sleepycat_ DB code. It is still being
    looked into.

    ... _Sleepycat:

    Contributing threads:
    - `latest bsddb3 test problems

    We want *you* to help with the war on SF patch items
    Someone wanted to help but wasn't sure how they could. Martin v. Loewis
    sent an email listing common things anyone can do to help with dealing
    with the patch items on SourceForge_. The email can be found at .

    Contributing threads:
    - `Help offered

    Python glossary
    Skip Montanaro converted the glossary he has as a wiki at to the proper format to be
    included in the Python documentation. You can peruse the glossary as it
    stands in the documentation at Thanks to Skip for
    for doing the grunt work and getting this done.

    If you wish to help, please visit the wiki and add/edit/whatever .

    Contributing threads:
    - `Python Glossary

    Mitch Kapor to speak at PyCon 2004
    Mitch Kapor is founder of the `Open Source Application Foundation`_
    (OSAF), co-founder of the `Electronic Frontier Foundation`_, and
    developer of Chandler_ . He is going to be the keynote speaker at
    `PyCon 2004`_ .

    The general `Call for Proposals`_ has gone out. If you have any desire
    to speak at PyCon take a look at the CFP.

    ... _PyCon 2004:
    ... _Open Source Application Foundation:
    ... _Electronic Frontier Foundation:
    ... _Chandler:
    ... _Call for Proposals:

    Python 2.3.1 released, people were happy... initially
    Python 2.3.1 was released to the general public. It was meant to be a
    bug-fix release to fix bugs that were discovered after Python 2.3 went
    out the door.

    But then a typo in the script that prevented os.fsync()
    from ever being included was discovered. A rather vocal group of users
    of this function got out their pitchforks and torches while screaming,
    "blood, blood!" (actually they were nice about it, but saying, "they
    kindly asked for a new release," isn't that dramatic, is it?)

    How were the rioting masses (who were actually not rioting) appeased?

    Contributing threads:
    - `2.3.1 is (almost) a go
    - `RELEASED Python 2.3.1
    - `How to test for stuff like fsync?

    Let them eat cake while releasing Python 2.3.2
    Python 2.3.2 was released to deal with the os.fsync() snafu. HP/UX
    compiling issues were also addressed.

    The bsddb3 problems are still there, but it is becoming more and more
    certain that the issues are with Sleepycat and not the bsddb module.

    Contributing threads:
    - `plans for 2.3.2
    - `Python2.3.2 and release23-maint branch
    - `2.3.2 and bsddb
    - `RELEASED Python 2.3.2, release candidate 1
    - `OpenSSL vulnerability
    - `RELEASED Python 2.3.2 (final)
    Brett C., Oct 13, 2003
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