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Python 3.2 has some deadly infection


On Thu, 05 Jun 2014 17:45:34 +0300, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:

> Rustom Mody <rustompmody at gmail.com>:
> 
>> What Marko is saying is that by imposing the structuring of unicode on
>> the outside (Unix) world of text=byte, significant power is lost.
> 
> Mostly I'm saying Python3 will not be able to hide the fact that linux
> data consists of bytes. It shouldn't even try. The linux OS outside the
> Python process talks bytes, not strings.

Data on pretty much *all* computers consists of bytes, regardless of the 
language or operating system. There may be a few esoteric or ancient 
machines from the Dark Ages that aren't based on bytes, and even fewer 
that aren't based on bits (ancient Soviet era mainframes, if any of them 
still survive), but they aren't important. Someday esoteric non-byte 
machines, perhaps quantum computers, or machines based on DNA, or nano-
sized analog computers made of carbon atoms, say, will be important, but 
this is not that day. For now, bytes rule *everywhere*.

Nevertheless, there are important abstractions that are written on top of 
the bytes layer, and in the Unix and Linux world, the most important 
abstraction is *text*. In the Unix world, text formats and text 
processing is much more common in user-space apps than binary processing. 
Perhaps the definitive explanation and celebration of the Unix way is 
Eric Raymond's "The Art Of Unix Programming":

http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/taoup/html/ch05s01.html




-- 
Steven D'Aprano
http://import-that.dreamwidth.org/