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Brett C. 12-11-2003 10:53 PM

python-dev Summary for 2003-11-16 through 2003-11-30
python-dev Summary for 2003-11-16 through 2003-11-30
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++
This is a summary of traffic on the `python-dev mailing list`_ from
November 16, 2003 through November 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 thirtieth summary written by Brett Cannon (the quarter is
over! Winter Break is finally here!).

To contact me, please send email to brett at ; I do not have
the time to keep up on comp.lang.python and thus do not always catch
follow-ups posted there.

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
Wow, I actually managed to get a summary out less than a week when its
coverage dates ended. Perks of procrastinating for studying for finals. =)

First, an errata on the last summary. I said generator expressions were
Peter Norvig's idea. Turns out it was Raymond Hettinger, the man who
has so many new ideas that his flame retardant suit has his initials
embroidered on it, who came up with the original idea in `PEP 289`_.

PyCon_ registration has gone live! Go to the page to register. And if
you don't we will have a possessed Barry Warsaw come after you (to get
the reference, go to and take a look at the banner
graphic; Barry is the second from the right)! =)

The system for accepting proposals for PyCon is still being worked on.
It should be up in the very near future. Since it was not up in time
for the original deadline, the new proposal deadline has been extended.

This summary is brought to you by the `iTunes Music Store`_ and the
following songs from the `Verve Remixed 2 - Exclusive EP
album (which are linked to the iTMS and thus require iTunes to be

- `Manteca, by Dizzy Gillespie & Funky Lowlives
< 3>`__
- `Sinnerman, by Felix da Housecat & Nina Simone
< 8>`__

... _PEP 289:
... _PyCon:
... _iTunes Music Store:

Aggregate refcounting is not always a hard science
Christian Tismer discovered that the aggregate refcount stored in
_Py_RefTotal (only available in a Py_REF_DEBUG build which is part of a
debug build; see Misc/SpecialBuilds.txt for all the special builds that
are available) can be wrong when code starts to do funky things in
__del__ methods and manipulating the refcount of objects directly. The
offending code has been fixed in the 2.3.x branch and up.

Contributing threads:
- `_Py_RefTotal wrong in Py 2.2.3

Bulk up reversed() with __reversed__ and __len__
When the new 'reversed' built-in was being discussed, the idea of having
a __reversed__ magic method for it was proposed. But because it might
get misused by applying 'reversed' to iterators that were infinite
(think generators and itertools iterators), Guido had it removed.

But Raymond Hettinger, who came up with 'reversed' in the first place,
came up with a modified idea; only have 'reversed' use __reversed__ if
both that magic method and __len__ are defined. That way 'reversed'
will only try to reverse its argument if it has a known bounded length
(as of right now it only works if the object has __getitem__ and __len__

As of right now it has not been pronounced upon.

Contributing threads:
- `__reversed__ protocol

Change in object.__setattr__ semantics from 2.2 to 2.3
A change in how object.__setattr__ works went unmentioned in the 'What's
New...' doc for 2.3 by accident. In case you have not run into this,
you cannot use object.__setattr__ if a derived type defines __setattr__
itself. It is not an issue if you just use the built-in setattr.

Contributing threads:
- `2.2=>2.3 object.__setattr__(cls,attr,value)

Say goodbye to MacOS9 support
Starting with 2.4, Python will not support MacOS9 for lack of support
(Jack Jansen asked for volunteers but no one stepped forward). Jack has
removed the support so that all his Mac-related efforts can focus on OS
X work.

This does not affect any previous versions of Python.

Contributing threads:
- `Ripping out Macintosh support

2.3.3 in the works
2.3.3c1 has been released as of this writing. You can find it at . As usual, please download it and run the
test suite along with your own code.

Contributing threads:
- `Time for 2.3.3?

Project ideas galore
Last month I asked for ideas for a masters thesis. This led to a huge
response with various project ideas. After going through them all I
posted an annotated list of all the ideas presented to me (see the
contributing thread for the email link). If you are ever bored for say,
a month or more, you can try to tackle one of these projects to keep
yourself occupied.

Contributing threads:
- `Thesis ideas list

No more hex/oct warnings!
The warnings from 2.3 about how hex/oct constants were going to change
in 2.4 are now gone since the change has been checked into CVS. `PEP
237`_, which specified this change, also mentioned warnings of the
change in 2.4 along with changes to repr for longs.

The warnings are not going to exist in Python 2.4 . It was felt the
warnings in 2.3 were visible and noisy enough to get the point across.

As for the repr change for longs, that is not going to happen. The repr
of a long will continue to have an "L" appended to the end of it. It
was deemed not worth the breakage in code to remove it.

... _PEP 237:

Contributing threads:
- `Int FutureWarnings and other 2.4 TODOs

Backticks to go bye-bye in 3.0
Consider yourselves warned; backticks will be removed in Python 3.0 .
And thanks to Walter Dörwald they are being replaced in the stdlib with
the proper repr calls.

Contributing threads:
- `Banishing apply(), buffer(), coerce(), and intern()

itertools grows groupby
itertools.groupby takes an iterable and a key-accessing function and
returns a tuple of the key and an iterator containing items that match
the current key. You can think of it like SQL's GROUPBY keyword or
UNIX's uniq command. Read the documentation for a more thorough

Contributing threads:
- `"groupby" iterator

Christos TZOTZIOY Georgiou 12-12-2003 04:22 PM

Re: python-dev Summary for 2003-11-16 through 2003-11-30
On Thu, 11 Dec 2003 14:53:39 -0800, rumours say that "Brett C."
<bac@OCF.Berkeley.EDU> might have written:

>First, an errata on the last summary. I said generator expressions were
>Peter Norvig's idea. Turns out it was Raymond Hettinger, the man who
>has so many new ideas that his flame retardant suit has his initials
>embroidered on it, who came up with the original idea in `PEP 289`_.

What about this?

(this, by Paul Prescod, is the oldest one that I remember and could
locate --I actually had it kept in Agent! :), but there could be older
references. Of course, hadn't Raymond written the PEP, the whole idea
wouldn't advance...
TZOTZIOY, I speak England very best,
Ils sont fous ces Redmontains! --Harddix

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