To me this is the same problem I had with HTML and DOM mentioned on the other thread (which I will reply to!).
The analogy is
HTML files : DOM :: string data :: Python strings.
A lot of software is basically "undoing" problems caused by other software, not addressing something in the application domain. PEP 383 and 540 seem to be clear instances of that. (And note that I said Python is an amazing achievement in the appendix of this post, which is simultaneously true :) )