Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any existing users of Senf?
It is currently used in Quod Libet and mutagen.
Why not use bytes for paths on Python 3 + Unix?

Downsides of using str: str can not be pickled as it depends on the locale encoding. You have to use something like fsn2bytes first, or you have to make sure that the encoding doesn’t change across program invocations.

Upsides of using str: str has more support in the stdlib (pathlib for example) and it can be used in combination with the string literal "foo". The later makes some_fsnative + "foo" work for all Python versions and platforms as long as it contains ASCII only.

Why the weird “foo2bar” function naming?
As the real types depend on the platform anything like “decode”/”encode” is confusing. So you end up with “a_to_b” or “a_from_b”. And imo having things always go one direction, being fast to parse visually and not being too long makes this a good choice. But ymmv.
How can it be that fsnative() can’t fail, even with an ASCII encoding?
It falls back to utf-8 if encoding fails. Raising there would make everything complicated and there is no good way to handle that error case anyway.
Why not replace sys.stdout instead of providing a new print()?
No monkey patching. Allows us to do our own error handling so print will never fail. Printing some question marks is better than a stack trace if the target is a user.