python-dev Summary for 2003-10-01 through 2003-10-15

Discussion in 'Python' started by Brett C., Oct 24, 2003.

  1. Brett C.

    Brett C. Guest

    python-dev Summary for 2003-10-01 through 2003-10-15
    This is a summary of traffic on the `python-dev mailing list`_ from
    October 1, 2003 through October 15, 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-seventh summary written by Brett Cannon (about to
    turn a quarter century old; so young yet so wise =).

    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
    Python-dev had a major explosion in emails thanks to some proposed
    changes to list.sort (summarized in `Decorate-sort-undecorate eye for
    the list.sort guy`_). That got covered. Some behind-the-scenes stuff
    that would not interest the general Python community was left out for my
    personal sanity.

    It looks like I will not have major issues continuing writing the
    Summaries in terms of school interfering. The only big issue will be
    how long past their closure date does it take me to get them out. In
    other words, unless my schoolwork load suddenly becomes heavy
    continuously I should be able to keep doing the Summaries until my
    personal sanity gives out.

    This summary is brought to you by the songs "Insanity_" by `Liz Phair`_
    and "`Harder to Breathe`_" by `Maroon 5`_ (note these links require
    iTunes_ to be installed; now available on Windows!).

    ... _Insanity:
    ... _Liz Phair:
    ... _Harder to Breathe:
    ... _Maroon 5:
    ... _iTunes:

    I gave a talk at PyCon 2004 and all I got was respect and admiration
    I summarized this last month, but this is important so I am doing it
    again (and will continue to mention it until no more proposals are being
    accepted). PyCon_
    is ramping up for 2004 and is putting out a `Call for Proposals`_.
    Since PyCon is meant to be very broad-reaching you can propose anything
    from a scientific paper to a tutorial.

    If you have any inkling to give a talk please send in a proposal. It
    can be rough; the key is that what you want to discuss can be understood
    from the proposal. So take a look at the link and consider coming to
    PyCon as a speaker and not just a attendee.

    ... _PyCon:
    ... _Call for Proposals:

    Contributing threads:
    `PyCon DC 2004: Call for Proposals

    Web-SIG started
    As stated on the SIGs page, "The Python `Web SIG`_ is dedicated to
    improving Python's support for interacting with World Wide Web services
    and clients." If there is some web-related functionality that you think
    Python should, this is the place to discuss it. If you think an
    existing Python module could stand a redesign then this is the proper
    forum for your ideas.

    ... _Web SIG:

    Contributing threads:
    `Any movement on a SIG for web lib enchancements?

    I have seen the future and it includes 2.3.3
    Anthony Baxter, release manager for Python `2.3.1`_ and `2.3.2`_, is
    already planning a 2.3.3 release in about three months time. He
    initially suggested that the goal of this release should be to have
    Python build on as many platforms as possible.

    Michael Hudson listed "HPUX/ia64, various oddities on Irix" as the major
    troublemakers. He suggested that a sustained push to fix these build
    problems happen instead of trying to do it last-minute. Michael also
    thought it would be a good idea to try to find experts on the trouble
    platforms instead of having someone getting access to some machine and
    floundering since they don't know the OS.

    Skip Montanaro quickly chimed in with which is a wiki
    page that lists people who are available to help with testing on various
    OSs. Please have a look and if you think you could help out on an OS
    add yourself.

    ... _2.3.1:
    ... _2.3.2:

    Contributing threads:
    `2.3.3 plans

    Helping you help us
    In response to Martin v. Löwis' email on how to handle patches, Michael
    Bartl expressed his disappointment that nothing had happened to his
    patches. It was explained to him that because of time restraints on
    python-dev that it can take time for people to get to all of the
    patches, but that his work was greatly appreciated and would eventually
    be looked at. Since the email Martin has managed to take a look at them
    (even accepted one).

    The question of searching on SourceForge_ through the tracker items also
    came up. There is a search box on the left side of the page, but it is
    not extensive. Better than nothing.

    I also posted an essay I wrote that is meant to act as a guide to how
    Python is developed and how anyone can help with the development
    regardless of abilities. You can look at the email below in the "Draft
    of an essay on Python development" thread referenced below in
    "Contributing threads". Hopefully it will end up on once it
    is in its final form.

    Contributing threads:
    `Patches & Bug help revisited
    `Draft of an essay on Python development (and how to help)

    Making DLLs fatter for lower file dependency
    Thomas Heller suggested adding more modules to the Windows DLL as
    built-in so as to cut back on the number of files required to get Python
    to run (py2exe_ stands to benefit from this). The issue of having a
    larger DLL to have to load into memory was brought up, but Martin v.
    Löwis said that DLLs only load into memory what is needed to run and not
    the entire DLL.

    The issue of making the overall DLL larger in terms of disk space was
    brought up, but the worry was partially minimized when the list of
    modules to add was limited to small modules that do not have external

    But zlib might break that last rule in order to allow importation from
    compressed zip files. The idea of integrating the zlib source into the
    Python tree was brought up, but shot down for licensing issues on top of
    keeping the code synchronized.

    ... _py2exe:

    Contributing threads:
    `buildin vs. shared modules

    Decorate-sort-undecorate eye for the list.sort guy
    Raymond Hettinger suggested adding built-in support for the
    decorate-sort-undecorate (DSU) sorting idiom to list.sort (see the
    Python Cookbook recipe at which is
    recipe 2.3 in the dead tree version or Tim Peters' intro to chapter 2
    for details on the idiom). After a long discussion on the technical
    merits of various ways to do this, list.sort gained the keyword
    arguments 'key' and 'reverse'.

    'key' takes in a function that accepts one argument and returns what the
    item should be sorted based on. So running ``[(0,0), (0,2),
    (0,1)].sort(key=lambda x: x[1])`` will sort the list based on the second
    item in each tuple. Technically the sort algorithm just runs the item
    it is currently looking at through the function and then handles the
    sorting. This avoids having to actually allocate another list. If
    'key' and 'cmp' are both provided then 'key' is called on the items to
    be sorted and the function's return values are then passed to 'cmp'.

    'reverse' does what it sounds like based on whether its argument is true
    or false.

    list.sort also became guaranteed to be stable (this include 'reverse').

    A discussion of whether list.sort should return self came up and was
    *very* quickly squashed by Guido. The idea of having a second method,
    though, that did sort and returned a copy of the sorted list is still
    being considered.

    Contributing threads:

    New Python 2.3.2 Windows binary
    Some invalid DLLs made it into the 2.3.2 Windows binary distribution by
    accident. It seems to mostly affect Windows 98 and NT 4 users. The
    binary has been fixed and put up online. You can tell if you downloaded
    the fixed version by checking the filename; the new one is named
    Python-2.3.2-1.exe (notice the "-1").

    Contributing threads:
    `Python-2.3.2 windows binary screwed

    A call for cool itertools additions
    Have an idea for something that should be added to itertools? Read and
    see if it matches the criteria. If it does send it off to Raymond
    Brett C., Oct 24, 2003
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