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PEP: 206
Title: Python Advanced Library
Version: $Revision$
Last-Modified: $Date$
Author: A.M. Kuchling <>
Status: Withdrawn
Type: Informational
Content-Type: text/x-rst
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the standard library that are superseded by a third-party module.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."
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