On 15 March 2016 at 21:25, Oscar Benjamin email@example.com wrote:
On 15 March 2016 at 04:47, Nick Coghlan firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
- Windows without a properly configured PATH (and without a tool like
vex or conda)
AFAICT the default behaviour of the Windows installer does not add Python to PATH. Correct me if I'm wrong as I haven't used it myself for some time but when I tell my students to "install Python 3.5" and then to type "python" in the terminal a lot of the Windows users come back to me with PATH problems (specifically that python was not added to PATH).
Yeah, it's unfortunately currently still off by default. Since it's sysadmins that don't like it being on by default, and they're better equipped to change it back than Windows users being introduced to the command line for the first time, I'd prefer to see that particular default flipped to be opt-out rather than opt-in.
Educators are the folks best positioned to argue for that change, since you're the ones that have to deal with the fallout of beginners installing Python by clicking through the installer prompts without realising they need to request the automatic PATH modification.
- accessing Python 3 on *nix systems (without a tool like vex, pyenv or conda)
On the *nix side of things, the long term objective is to get "python" to a point of being usable for the latter case, but there's still a lot of other things to be done before that's a realistic option (e.g. migrating system packages over to using their own dedicated binary or symlink, so "python" can be switched to point to something else without affecting system services).
Well that would initially improve things but what happens when python 4 comes around? Really I think that for something like this having major-versioned executables is a good idea. It's just a shame that it wasn't done consistently.
The major & minor versioned executables exist on *nix if people want to use them, but tend to make scripts and instructions more platform specific than they need to be.