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[Python-Dev] Negative timedelta strings

There's a furious discussion going on at the python-list mailing list, 
about negative timedelta strings:

py> str(timedelta(0, -1))
'-1 day, 23:59:59'

This is documented. It's even documented as being "somewhat unusual". I 
found a tracker item for it, back in July 2010:


and that refers back to a discussion on #python-dev, but (as far as I 
know) that's not archived anywhere. I had a look on the python-dev 
mailing list around that time, and couldn't find anything.

Does anyone remember the rationale for this behaviour? Is it open to 
debate or is it now cast in stone? (Personally, I'm not looking to 
reopen the debate, and if I did, it would be on python-ideas.) Any links 
to the earlier discussion would be helpful.