The S.E.C. Proposes Filings Written in Python

by Developer.com Staff

The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed that SEC filings be written in the open source Python programming language.

A proposal from the US Securities and Exchange Commission is recommending that regulation-required submissions to the bureaucracy be written in Python.

The H Open Source reported today, "The proposal is aimed at better equipping investors to evaluate offerings of asset backed securities. An investor would be able to retrieve a runnable Python script from EDGAR, the SEC's document database, which they could use as part of their evaluation."

The problem is that normally information submitted to the S.E.C. is written in legal jargon and not easily understandable by computers or humans.

The idea is that if the information was submitted in a computer-readable format, investors and regulators could more easily make sense of it.

The data would be presented in XML and processed with Python.

"The proposal specifies Python as language of choice," The H reported, "but invites consultation over whether another language may be more suitable. Python was selected for the proposal because it is an open source scripting language, affording transparency to the underlying runtime interpreter and avoiding the possibility of transferring hard to check binary executable files, which could contain malware, over the EDGAR system."

The full proposal is available here.

This article was originally published on Wednesday Apr 21st 2010
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