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Python 3.2 has some deadly infection


Steven D'Aprano <steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info>:

> Incorrect. Linux presents data as text all the time. Look at the prompt: 
> its treated as text, not numbers.

Of course there is a textual human interface. However, from the point of
view of virtually every OS component, it's bytes.


> Consider:
>
> [steve at ando ~]$ echo -e '\x41\x42\x43'
> ABC

"echo" doesn't know it's emitting text. It would be perfectly happy to
emit binary gibberish. The output goes to the pty which doesn't care
about the textual interpretation, either. Finally, the terminal
(emulation program) translates the incoming bytes to textual glyphs to
the best of its capabilities.

Anyway, what interests me mostly is that I routinely build programs and
systems that talk to each other over files, pipes, sockets and devices.
I really need to micromanage that data. I'm fine with encoding text if
that's the suitable interpretation. I just think Python is overreaching
by making the text interpretation the default for the standard streams
and files and guessing the correct encoding.

Note that subprocess.Popen() wisely assumes binary pipes. Unfortunately
the subprocess might be a python program that opens the standard streams
in the text mode...


Marko