[Pythonmac-SIG] install again?
charles.hartman at conncoll.edu
Mon Feb 6 16:43:55 CET 2006
Oh well, "other platforms" -- if that means Linux of course you have
to learn those same things, but you undoubtedly already know them. If
it means Windows, I'd rather drive a truck, and I'm thinking
particularly of potential users who feel the same way.
There are a lot of programming environments on the Mac besides
Applescript that work from the GUI without any need to delve. Runtime
Revolution and Breve are two examples that come to mind immediately.
I'm thinking, for example, of someone who has worked in one of those
very-high-level environments and wants to deepen her/his
understanding and control. Turn to C, or rather C++? Oh dear. So how
about Python? I think it's a great, an ideal choice. These are the
people who, 25 years ago, would have picked up Turbo Pascal and
gotten a great start on a lifelong obsession. Python should get them
(and vice versa).
But while Tiger comes with Python, the moment you look for (for
example) a GUI library, you learn that there's a much-superior Python
(2.4), for which you can download a nice, familiar binary from Bob's
site or from ActiveState. Good. And you can download a binary of (for
example) wxPython. Good. And then you have to do this Terminal stuff.
No, the Terminal stuff isn't difficult. You find out (though as I
recall it is *not* immediately obvious) that there are only a few
simple things you need to learn to do. The point is that you're now
engaged, however peripherally, with a whole other huge set of
questions and conditions, and suddenly the learning curve for Python
*looks* much steeper. The problem, as I see it, is that you encounter
this stuff right at the very beginning. Everything for getting
started with Python is off-the-shelf easy -- except of course that to
get it running you just have to add the following lines to your
profile and . . . what?? You start looking at docs, and quickly
encounter references to directories that you can't even find among
the folders on your OSX filesystem.
Of course OSX is Unix "under the hood"; but not everybody -- not even
everybody interested in programming the Mac -- has gone into the dark
spaces under the hood. The alternative to "under the hood" includes a
lot more than just pushing buttons to get & send email, though this
may be hard to remember once you've gone under the hood . . .
I don't know, maybe I was just traumatized at an early age (or rather
a late one). I got over it, and I suppose everyone else can too. I'm
the wrong person to ask. Maybe linda.s might have a more useful
perspective at this point?
On Feb 6, 2006, at 10:06 AM, Kevin Walzer wrote:
> Just to continue the conversation, what do *you* think is the best
> approach? How should Python be made easier than it already is (and,
> frankly, compared to C, it's pretty easy)? What special
> difficulties or
> obstacles does the Mac platform present to learning Python that are
> also present on other platforms?
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