PEP: 206
Title: Python Advanced Library
Version: $Revision: 2145 $
Author: A.M. Kuchling <amk at>
Status: Withdrawn


    This PEP describes the Python Advanced Library, a collection of
    high-quality and frequently-used third party extension modules.

Batteries Included Philosophy

    The Python source distribution has long maintained the philosophy
    of "batteries included" -- having a rich and versatile standard
    library which is immediately available, without making the user
    download separate packages.  This gives the Python language a head
    start in many projects.

    However, the standard library modules aren't always the best
    choices for a job.  Some library modules were quick hacks
    (e.g. calendar, commands), some were designed poorly and are now
    near-impossible to fix (cgi), and some have been rendered obsolete
    by other, more complete modules (binascii offers the same features
    as the binhex, uu, base64 modules).  This PEP describes a list of
    third-party modules that make Python more competitive for various
    application domains, forming the Python Advanced Library.

    The deliverable is a set of scripts that will retrieve, build, and
    install the packages for a particular application domain.  The
    Python Package Index now contains enough information to let
    software automatically find packages and download them, so the
    time is ripe to implement this.
    Currently this document doesn't suggest *removing* modules from
    the standard library that are superseded by a third-party module.
    That's difficult to do because it entails many backward-compatibility 
    problems, so it's not worth bothering with now.

    Please suggest additional domains of interest.

Domain: Web tasks

    XML parsing: ElementTree + SAX.

    URL retrieval: libcurl? other possibilities?

    HTML parsing: mxTidy? HTMLParser?

    Async network I/O: Twisted

    RDF parser: ???

    HTTP serving: ???

    HTTP cookie processing: ???

    Web framework: A WSGI gateway, perhaps?  Paste?

    Graphics: PIL, Chaco.

Domain: Scientific Programming

    Numeric: Numeric, SciPy

    Graphics: PIL, Chaco.

Domain: Application Development

    GUI toolkit: ???

    Graphics: Reportlab for PDF generation.

Domain: Education

    Graphics: PyGame

Software covered by the GNU General Public License

    Some of these third-party modules are covered by the GNU General
    Public License and the GNU Lesser General Public License.
    Providing a script to download and install such packages, or even
    assembling all these packages into a single tarball or CD-ROM,
    shouldn't cause any difficulties with the GPL, under the "mere
    aggregation" clause of the license.

Open Issues

    What other application domains are important?

    Should this just be a set of Ubuntu or Debian packages?  Compiling
    things such as PyGame can be very complicated and may be too
    difficult to automate.


    The PEP is based on an earlier draft PEP by Moshe Zadka, titled
    "2.0 Batteries Included."