The past two weeks turned out to be less quiet than expected, though
most of the items were minor ones.

2.1 release plans

December 15 was the deadline for PEPs; no new PEPs will be considered
for inclusion in 2.1, and PEPs not in the active list will not be
considered either.  Martin von Loewis wondered if the timetable for
Python 2.1 was realistic: "I think it is unrealistic to expect the
same amount of commitment for the next release, especially if that
release appears just a few months after the previous release (that is,
one month from now)."

GvR thought that the ideas being considered for Python 2.1 were much
smaller than the changes that went into 2.0, and listed them:

Module autoconfiguration

Eric S. Raymond noted that the curses module isn't automatically
built, and that in general more modules could be built without
requiring explicit user intervention: "This is not good, as it may
lead careless distribution builders to ship Python 2.0s that will not
be able to support the curses front end in CML2."

AMK has been working on PEP 229, a proposal to automatically configure
and compile extension modules, and the accompanying patch.  This would
replace the Module/Setup file and makesetup script, and fix ESR's
The patch:
On that note, a link was posted to the current version of the
automatic script, asking for people to try it out on various
platforms and offer corrections: "Is anything missing that should have
been built?  Did an attempt at building a module fail?  These indicate
problems autodetecting something, so if you can figure out how to find
the required library or include file, let me know what to do."
Instructions are in my post:
The setup script can be downloaded from:
Please give it a try.


People have suggested adding a chomp() function that performs the same
task as the Perl built-in: it removes the trailing newline from a

Reaction was mixed: Moshe liked it, but others thought that the
existing rstrip() method, which removes *all* whitespace from the end
of a string, is sufficient.

Calls for assistance

Moshe Zadka noted that the FAQ is out of date, and that the FAQwizard
on had been down for some time without anyone noticing: "I
think the FAQ-Wizard method has proven itself not very efficient (for
example, apparently no one noticed until now that it's not working)."
The FAQ should really be maintained by an editor; does anyone want to

The PSA bookstore has been updated, rewritten, and resurrected as the
Python bookstore.  Contributions of additional reviews, suggestions
for titles, etc. are welcome.

Other stuff

The mailing lists on ran into trouble near the end of the
month; list services were moved from a machine at CNRI to one at
Digital Creations, the disk on filled up, Postfix on inserts a delay of some hours, and a bug in Mailman
was found: "This is serious enough to warrant a Mailman 2.0.1 release,
probably mid-next week."

The changes to the curses module to export a C API, discussed in the
previous python-dev summary, met with approval and were checked in.
This meant that Thomas Gellekum's curses.panel module could also be
added.  Anyone want to work on wrapping the form and/or menu libraries
that come with ncurses?

Python may avoid the need to argue over where to put the braces, but
there's still the need to use a consistent style in Python's C code.
Fred Drake suggested using 4-space indents, no tabs; this is different
from GvR's preferred style, but according to Fred, the 4-space style
is tolerated as an alternative.  GvR pronounced on this: "If 3rd party
code is already written using a different style, it can stay that way,
especially if it's a large volume that would be hard to reformat."